April 29, 2014 at 12:08 pm #16326
This is a quick question to UK gouties.
I just wanted to get an idea of how much allopurinol gouties receive in a single repeat of their prescription. I am getting enough allopurinol to last me 28 days each time I repeat the prescription. The thing is that I pay for my prescriptions (I am in England) so I pay ?8.05 per 28 days currently for 28*400mg of allopurinol which works out at about 29p per day.
Now when I look at buying Allopurinol privately I can buy a 300mg table for 5pence and 100mg for 3pence (so for me 8pence per day).
Now following this maths, it appears that if I was able to buy it privately I would pay ?2.24 per month for allopurinol rather than ?8.05.
Is this what others are doing in the UK? Am I being ripped off because it feels like it?
As usual – all help and advice gratefully received.
sorepawApril 30, 2014 at 12:47 am #16329
Hi @sorepaw, thank you for joining the forum. As this is not a strictly medical issue, I hope you won’t mind me ranting on a bit. You hit a nerve. 😉
You and I are in the same boat, though I have a slightly more positive spin on it. Basically, you either make the most of it, or get out of Broken Britain. We’re bailing out the bankers, though it’s probably more to do with the landed gentry and their stakes in the financial markets. The government has to do everything it can to milk ordinary citizens, so we get ripped off with prescription charges. Yes, not even the sick are safe.
You’re asking where the positive spin is? Well, I’ve yet to find a better country to live in, so I make the most of what I’ve got. I get 28*900mg for my ?8.05, and I can’t be bothered complaining about that price for Gout Freedom, when I’m so busy complaining about the price of beer and wine 🙂
The 28 day maximum prescription length stinks for gout sufferers. I believe there are concessions for some illnesses that require lifelong treatment, but not gout sufferers. Despite gout being a largely genetic disease, there is a common view that it’s a lifestyle issue. Take it up with your MP – it’s what they get paid for. Better still, persuade your MP to take you and I out for dinner to discuss it. That way we get something out of the expenses scandal.
Apart from my ranting, I’ve tried to look for ways around the 28 day prescription limit. I’ve not had much time to do this, but recommendations I’ve found so far are:
1. Buy online as you suggest, but beware counterfeits – I remember a serious problem in Hong Kong a few years back. [but if you poison yourself it’s a massive NHS cost, so they might change policy! 👿 ]
2. Check all local doctors – apparently, some are more sympathetic to extending the time period.
3. Say you are going abroad, and need a larger supply.
Has anyone got other suggestions?April 30, 2014 at 2:39 am #16333
Thanks for the reply – I pretty much thought that this was the case and agree with your sentiment. This is about the principal of the thing and not the cost. I just find it sickening that every four weeks I have to pay out another prescription fee when I see PCTs doling out methadone for free. I intend to take this up with my MP next for the fat lot of good that it is worth.
I guess for a high dosage like yourself though the prescription charge is more cost-effective than for me.
I am thinking of trying to obtain a private prescription from my GP. But this will depend on how large a quantity he will prescribe to make it worthwhile. My calculations suggest that if the doc will prescribe 1 year supply, then I would save nearly ?70 a year after delivery costs.
I’ll keep you updated on any progress.
I’ve been on allopurinol for 8 months now any my flare-ups are now rare and tend to be caused by excessive walking (any other exercise like swimming / cycling seems to have little effect). I find any flare up is manageable with Naproxin/paracetamol too. So things are much much better than a year ago. I just thought I should say something positive here.April 30, 2014 at 8:16 am #16334
Thank you @sorepaw
Please let the rest of us Brits know how you get on with the private script.
Very nice to hear about the lack of flares. Gout Freedom land is a seriously good place to be. 😀May 2, 2014 at 9:38 am #16341
Quick update. My doc was quite happy to issue me with a private scripts 6 months supply of Allopurinol at a time and has issued my scripts to that effect free of charge.
To put this into money terms, as the NHS guidelines state that prescriptions can only last for 28 days I would require 6 prescriptions for the same quantity of drugs – so 6 * ?8.05 = ?48.30. Just been and ordered the drugs at http://www.chemistdirect.co.uk which has done the same for ?13.44 + ?3.49 delivery (which I managed to avoid by adding an NHS prescription for Naproxin in the order too – if you can add an NHS prescription to your order, then they deliver the lot for free).
You have to send your prescription(s) to the online chemist after you have completed the order (so add another ?0.62 if I include the 1st class stamp cost).
Also I dont have to worry about getting more drugs every 28 days which is already becoming a pain and I’ve only been taking allopurinol for about 7 months.
So for any UK gout sufferers who have to pay NHS prescriptions, I think this is definitely the way to go as it saves me at least ?30.75 every 6 months. As I said earlier, its not just about the money – nobody wants to feel like they are being ripped off. Until we can get gout added to the list of lifelong illnesses which qualify for free prescription, this is the cheapest way to pay for allopurinol I have found.
Hope this is helpful
cheersMay 3, 2014 at 1:45 am #16342
Wow! Thank you @sorepaw. That is great advice, and very helpful for UK gout sufferers.
“Also I dont have to worry about getting more drugs every 28 days which is already becoming a pain and I?ve only been taking allopurinol for about 7 months.”
That is as beneficial as the money saving. I once ran out when I decided to stay longer at my daughter’s to help with some jobs. I had to return home, just to get a repeat prescription. If I was on a six month repeat, I would definitely have arranged that before I left home.
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