Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Prescription Charges - We're quite Lucky Really!

My my that was a Christmas party and a half!

Welcome back to the OGM's Rambles.............................................................

So Tony (BIGNEWS Margate) had a ramble about NHS Prescribing guidelines as reported in the Screws of The World Newspaper.

I can understand where Tony's coming from and on the surface, the whole thing looks pretty damn unfair.

Before I start to ramble about this topic, have a read of something I spoke about last year regarding prescription charges here

Ok, now you've read that, lets go on to the topic of prescribing guidelines. It's been going on for years!!!!!! That's the short answer. The long answer is that if a patient is not exempt of prescription charges the GP will quite often prescribe 2 months (in exceptional cases even 3!) however, guidelines for prescribing 28 days is aimed primarily at those patients who take many different medications (in most cases, the elderly)

There is a good reason for prescribing in 28 for this catagory of patients. It's often the case that their medications can change quite frequently. If the GP were to prescribe say 3 months worth and then after one month, the medication needs to be changed then that consitutes quite a waste of medication which results in more cost to the NHS and of course that means you and me!

Don't get me wrong. I'm not defending the NHS here but I can personally say that on many an occasion, I have witnessed complete wastes of medicines costing hundreds of pounds and it's often due to over prescribing.

On saying that, I'm no lover of the Tax we pay via the prescription charge.

But here's the thing............... What if we had to pay for prescriptions? i.e. the cost of the medicine itself. The vast majority of medications prescribed actually cost a darn site more than £7.10 as a matter of fact, I had to get 2 prescriptions for Mrs Daktari today. I had to pay £14.20 but if I'd had to pay for the actual drugs, I'd be looking at about £50 to £60!!!!

It's not ideal, but until someone has the balls to get this lark sorted as to why Wales don't pay at all etc. I'd rather carry on the way things are at the moment.


tony flaig bignews said...

Ramble! as if!

Concise and sharp as surgeons knife more like.

Yes we are lucky to purchase medicines that cost £50 for £7.10 or unlucky when often we get prescribed asprin for an extortionate £7.10

We're also lucky that the NHS has ceased to use leaches* (they've been placed in senior management positions).

* I think their sometimes used to stop veins clogging

The Great Daktari said...

Agreed, there are a few Leach like beings lurking in the NHS. Believe it or not, some hospitals still use real leaches for bloodletting!

Tony, if you're getting your aspirin on prescription and the pharmacy is charging you £7.10 you need to change your pharmacy! Any reputable pharmacy would tell the patient that it's cheaper to buy. So I'm afraid your arguement is a little flawed in that particular case.

Yes occasionally there may be a prescription only medicine that might be cheaper than £7.10 but the vast majority aren't and by having one price for a prescription charge helps to even it out a little. As I said before, I'm no fan of it, but it's better than paying full price!

Anonymous said...

Why should we have to pay full price-I thought my national insurance contributions should pay for it as i have worked hard all my life{if you are a dole scronger they are free).

Anonymous said...

I can see the argument for only paying a capped amount for otherwise expensive medical stuff and I can see how unfair it is to pair piles of cash for drugs costing pence at most. However most places I take get my medicines from (on those times I need to) will often tell me if I can save money buy buying generic instead.