From Pulse Today (registration required):-
Exclusive Ministers have been encouraged to set national targets and use revalidation to hold individual GPs to account for their prescribing of antibiotics to combat fears of spiralling antimicrobial resistance, Pulse can reveal.
A policy from which deaths will surely result, especially for people like me. We simply do not need more restrictions on antibiotic prescribing.
I have severe COPD and, according to directions issued a few months ago, GPs are expected to adhere to the GOLD** guidelines when treating patients with COPD, guidelines which I have been using to self-medicate for years, to the considerable improvement in my respiratory health, not least because I can treat and exacerbation several days before it would be detectable to a GP, which also means that, very often, I can get by with only 3 or 4 days of antibiotics (I take Amoxyl).
**GOLD = Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease.
One of GOLD’s directives is that COPD exacerbations (flare-ups/infections), need prompt hand aggressive treatment with antibiotics, something which, thanks to the NICE-inspired antibiotic paranoia, has been impossible for a long time – about which I have written at length here.
Since the nineties, it’s been impossible for me to get more than 7 days worth of antibiotics from my GP and, by 2003 that was only possible after a sputum test. That meant a delay of 4-5 days – time I’d spend getting worse – before I could get a prescription, and if 7 days worth was inadequate, the whole bloody process started from scratch again.
At that point I decided self-medicating would extend my life expectancy. And, indeed, it has certainly contributed, though there are other factors – statistically I should be long gone.
Now, the witless cretins in parliament want to reduce already piss-poor supplies of antibiotics even more (and if they had their way they’d stop people like me buying online, even though I’m saving the NHS money).
If you have COPD, or anyone in your family does, even at its mildest, I suggest that you write to your MP protesting against this in the strongest possible terms.
I buy my antibiotics here. They’re based in the island state of Vanuatu, in the Pacific, northwest of Australia, they’re reliable and if your drugs are hijacked by customs – not happened to me so far – or otherwise fail to appear after 28 days, they’ll replace them free of charge. And on one occasion, when the suppliers changed to supplying only in quantities of 500, and I’d ordered 100 (times were hard then), they sent me 500 for the price of 100. They’re good people. Fans of this blog too, I think (someone in Vanuatu is, anyway).
NB: This should be self-evident, but if you need antibiotics and have none in stock, you need a doctor as you simply won’t get your drugs in time if you order them. Keep them in the fridge, too; you don’t have to, but they have to be kept below 25C and, in my flat, the fridge is the only place. Keep them away from kids too.
Always remember that you are dealing with potent drugs, and unless you have the experience to take them properly, the sense to know when you should really should call a doctor instead, and the intelligence not to abuse them** then I would strongly advise against self-medication and, in any case, I accept no responsibility at all for your actions.
**They’ll do nothing for a cold, for example, though I do recommend them for flu, as they make a secondary infection less likely, or less severe if it does happen, something I know from experience.