This week I had a call from a lovely lady at my local doctors surgery to tell me that I would no longer be able to get anti-histamines on prescription.
Why? Because I can get them over the counter. Well yes, technically, I CAN get antihistamines over the counter, but not the ones I am prescribed where I can get a box with lots in, and also stronger doses than the over the counter drugs. So I’ll need to buy more for one dose!
At my local chemists I can pay anything from £7 to £14 for a small number of between 12 and 24 tablets, or buy the liquid stuff, which works really well for me.
When you’re paying in advance for a Prescription Prepayment Certificate it makes living with a long term health condition manageable. If I had to pay a single charge for every item I got monthly on prescription from tubs of emollient, to two inhalers, antihistamines, adrenaline, steroids and immuno suppressants… I’d be penniless!
I would struggle to afford the drugs I need to stay healthy at the moment.
I know the NHS is struggling and probably needs to make cut backs but this is the very system which got me addicted to steroids at a young age in the first place. This the very system which never treated any of my allergic conditions, instead throwing drugs at me.
This system is now slowly letting me go, showing me I may need to cope alone.
I am facing the terrifying proposition of trying to wean myself off topical steroids as their effectiveness begins to diminish and my skin needs ever more frequent doses to just keep under control. Just google TSW for some real horror stories. I’m going it alone and won’t do this without medical supervision and help. They got me into this mess, they can bloomin well help me out.
I will be pushing back and speaking to my doctor about his but the lady who phoned was just doing her job, it wasn’t her fault. I told her I wasn’t happy but there was nothing she could do. She said she would ‘see what she could do’ but it was very much in a voice which said… don’t hold you breathe and I probably won’t tell anyone how you feel.
I annoyed about this but it just makes me sad. I will hopefully keep on getting these because I’m not going away quietly but why should I have to fight? There will be other people who cannot fight or don’t have the confidence.
Perhaps I will not have to add £30-40 to my monthly expenditure on antihistamines to get me through the hayfever season and incessant itching of eczema skin and allergic reactions.
But on the other hand, perhaps I will have to stump up yet more cash just to lead a normal life?
Has anyone else had this call? Can you still get antihistamines on prescription? Is this widespread?
Should I be paying for them? Or am I within my rights to demand this is still available to me?