GPs and prescribing…

According to the retards at the Daily Mail, family doctors are dishing out pills like sweets.

Ha! I wish they were, especially when it comes to antibiotics…

For years it’s been impossible to get antibiotics to treat my purulent COPD flare-ups without a sputum test (though taste and – for a subjective test – smell make it obvious enough). Yes, I know it’s gross – try living with it!

The inevitable delay – usually 3-4 days, never the so far entirely theoretical 24 hours – means the infection gets worse. The inadequate prescribing of antibiotics – the result of NICE-induced paranoia –  compounds that, and the result is that I am ill for weeks.

That’s is why I import my own antibiotics, the result being that I can knock down a COPD flare-up in 3-4 days, by tackling it early and without delay.

The per diem cost is minimal to me, even at retail prices** – it would cost the NHS even less if doctors could act more promptly and prescribe effectively. NICE – as I mentioned here has plans to cut antibiotic courses by half, but that will only work if there is a mechanism in place for rapid response by GPs. As things are now, by the time an infection is detectable by a GP, and time is wasted pissing about with sputum tests, a 3 or 4 day half-course won’t work.

**Though having to stump up over £50 from benefits is a pain (the cost, plus VAT plus the Post Office’s rip-off £8 fee for collecting the VAT – the actual cost of which, to the PO, is probably as close to zero as makes no difference). And no other business is allowed to charge for collecting VAT, so why should the Post Office?

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7 thoughts on “GPs and prescribing…

  1. Ron get a new gp mine gives me antibiotics ready for flare up then i visit for new script, i also have pred. steroids, as she reckons i know illness better than anyone else

  2. Hi Ron,
    I think there is the so called “post code lottery” working on this, my GP will prescribe antibiotics to patients with known recurring problems, I can request them via a telephone consultation if I’m too ill to go to the practice but not in need of a full home visit! They wont give pills out “like sweeties” but patients with ongoing, known, serious conditions who are known to be able to self diagnose, and can tell the difference between a flare up and a common cold can get prescriptions!
    The excessive use of antibiotics and the total mania for the killing of 99% of all know germs have led to all the allergies and immune weaknesses we see today in kids, it’s not without reason that kids who live on farms which keep livestock tend tom be healthier than “townies” who live in near sterile conditions.
    Anyway here comes Nurse with a long needle, so I guess its time for my electrotherapy!

    • Depends really – as per my previous comment – on how closely GPs adhere to NICE guidelines. Some don’t but they’ll have to before much longer.

      The alleged excessive use of antibiotics is a crock – I’ve never believed that GPs are so dumb that they prescribe useless antibiotics for viral infections (I’ve certainly never met one). The main motive behind NICE’s alarmism in this area – as with pretty much everything else they do – is cost-cutting at the patients’ expense.

      Ron.

  3. Hi Ron,
    My wife was recently diagnosed with severe copd and after two alarmimg flare ups the visiting COPD nurse contacted our GP for a standby supply of antibiotics and steroids. From what she said it seems that the local PCT have adopted a policy of encouraging all GPs to do the same. Bearing in mind your comments on NICE and the attitude of the NICE supremo it would seem that our PCT is either taking on the penny pinchers or they are ignorant of the power NICE seems to have.

    Also – thanks for all the guidence and help your blogs have given us, it’s been invaluable.

    • Hi Ralph,

      Thanks for that.

      A word of advice, though – treat steroids with caution. Although I take a lot of inhaled steroids at times – it’s far easier to tailor the dose to my needs, even though systemic side effects are much the same, at high doses, as with oral steroids – Prednisolone has been relegated to an only-if-I’m-dying role. One go-around with Cushing’s Syndrome was one too many, and repeated bouts of gastric bleeding were no fun, either (even e-c coated tabs aren’t a guaranteed fix).

      Make sure your wife carries a steroid card, too (available from the pharmacy).

      Ron.

  4. wow , i take steriods everytime i get really breathless, doctor hands them out like smartys, antibiotics im aloud to keep in my house and have a repeat for , never ever asked any questions , unless they need changing which my doctor does do every six months , in case i get to use to the ones im on and they dont work, i am lucky living in wales because everything is free and they dont care about nice guidelines, but then i think am i lucky getting steriods like smartys, i was told even if you think your going to have a bad day take six for 5 days then 654321 for the following week here you go theres your repeat , like today iv got a cold and cannot blow my nose but i can breath ok, well as ok as i can at this stage , but i jumped on my steriods first thing this morning, and my nose is clearer now but i dont no if thats the steriods or all the vick and nose sniffers and day nurse iv taken , plus i started my antibiotics yesterday when i new i felt ruff like something was going to kick off, so is iot good to have a smarty doctor, or is a bad, one thing i do no, is one doctor says one thing and another says something eles even consultents say its ok to catch a cold well mine does , we all catch colds, so i said should i not aviod them then like the sergion who done my receint oparation said, He said no colds and coughs are fine , what a plank he is, so i wont be going back to see him. but as for your gp ron you must live in the uk as iv herd alot of copders suffering because they did a good cough of flem to test and they no by the time our flem does cough up we are half dead, because it sits at the bottom of the damaged lungs causing more trouble and more illness even hospital sadly for some death, everyone with copd should have antibiotics and good for you for buying your own, but steriods that has me a little worried , when do i really need to take them is the big question,

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