Saturday, 1 November 2008

Medication & Prescriptions

I need to learn to say no to extra work, the problem is l feel it lets people down. So a few weeks ago when the 17:30-03:30 nurse asked me to cover her shift tonight, 1 Nov, l said no.
She didn’t let up and said “Go on please, l want to go to a Halloween party and at a friends house. Please”
So l said ok ok, so long as the HN agreed, which she did, that was not part of the plan. Next time l have to brief her better to say no you can not have the night off.

Anyhow this results in me having to work overnight tonight. Looks like not much of a pre work snooze for me today l have a load to do. Still l don’t suppose hub will mind. With my cold still lingering, my “burbling” is apparently worse than ever. I am told do not snore l make a weird burbling noise, l do like to be unique!

As l am sniffing and snerching and sucking my cough drops it made me think of the everyday drugs and medications that are used on animals. In the UK veterinary world there is a fair bit of discussion over the ending of the ban on prescription charges, how much to charge for a prescription. From what l can see the cost will vary between £3.50 to about £12.50 per prescription, however it may be more or less at different vet practices. This is to charge owners for the paperwork if they want to get their pets medication from the internet or from a chemist.
Try and getting a letter from your Dr for something it will cost a lot more. It seems to be that vets are not expected to charge but it is ok for Dr's to charge.

There is work someone has to do for each request. The paper work has to be checked to confirm that the patient is able to be dispensed the medication. Check when it last saw the vet. This has to be before 3 to 6 months depending on the medication, and the amount of drugs worked out to comply with the rule for being seen by the vet. This rule has always been in although the law has shortened on the time before being seen that was done quite a few years ago.

The vet has to be tracked down for writing out or (if he/she is lucky) reading a pre written prescription and signing it. This simplest operation can often be the most daunting as the vets need to be sweet talked, bribed or bullied into this job and get pissy at the staff. Then staff have then got to put up with clients being pissy at them for the cost. A no win situation.

In addition do not ring up and say you want a prescription the next day when you have to be seen by the vet to get that medication under the 3/6month rule. Sometimes you will be fitted in but not always, there is sick animals that have not had owners who had 2 months or whatever to plan booking their next medication.

I think personally that pharmacists should not be allowed to dispense medication. This should also apply to online pharmacy’s, although it is less likely that they will swop the medication written out for cheaper medication, as l and many others in the veterinary world, have heard of general pharmacy’s doing. The other problem is passing out the incorrect information on how to use the medication.

I remember reading one story witnessed happening by a veterinary nurse, luckily she stepped in and sorted the questioner, as well as putting the pharmacy staff right.
A pharmacy was selling frontline spot on. The buyer wanted to know how to use it and was told.
“Oh l don’t know l think you put it in their mouth, there is instructions somewhere”.
Actually you put the spot on between the shoulders. Still it is only an animal….

With regard to swopping medication scripted for an animal for a cheaper, different one. The following may put things in a bit more focus.

**Animal species may have many physiological differences from humans and from each other. As a result they each may react differently to medicines.
The authorisation system for veterinary medicines requires a product to have proven quality and effectiveness and, most importantly, safety for the animal, the user (vet, farmer, pet owner etc.), the environment and, for food animals, the consumer of animal produce. This assurance has to be provided for each species and each indication on the label.

In addition, animal medicines containing the same active ingredient as human medicines may be formulated differently. For instance, the formulation needs to ensure they are properly absorbed through the gut (which, for example, is rather shorter in a cat than a human).
Human medicine formulations may contain different excipients or have different bioavailability from veterinary medicines.
Using a product which is not authorised for animals therefore, increases the risk of harm to the patient.
** Taken from 'NOAH' National Office of Animal Health Ltd

This simple little word now means it is harder to get a drug for market for animals than for humans. You only have one human. In animals the drug has to go through tests for each species it may/can be used on. And because of this the cost of animal medication is up on human ones.

**If there is no medicine authorised in the UK for a specific condition, the veterinary surgeon responsible for treating the animal(s) may, in order to mitigate unacceptable suffering, treat the animal(s) in accordance with the following sequence:
(a) A veterinary medicine authorised in the UK for use in another animal species

or for a different condition in the same species;

If there is no such product

(b) Either

(i) A medicine authorised in the UK for human use, or

(ii) In accordance with an import certificate from VMD, a veterinary medicine from another Member State;
or, if there is no such product;

(c) A medicine prepared extemporaneously, by a vet, pharmacist or a person holding an appropriate manufacturer’s authorisation.
** Taken from 'NOAH' National Office of Animal Health Ltd

If you are given a drug for an animal that is not authorised for use in animals only in humans then you should by law be asked to sign a disclaimer over the drug. Often it is a standard part of ‘admit forms’ if your pet is being admitted for any treatment or part of your new client form. Somewhere within the veterinary procedure you will have signed it.

So next time you collect your medication from the vets do not give the staff a hard time about how much it costs. Yes there will be a mark up but there is in everything in life. UK vets have to buy in the UK, l am told that a lot of online pharmacies buy the drugs in the EU and import them.

Never give your pet human medications, toothpastes, wound cleaner or anything else medicated without checking with your vet. Your next step could be deciding how to bury your pet.

1 comment:

Vetnurse said...

As innocuous as it seems human toothpaste is toxic to animals. And if you use the toothpaste for sensitive teeth you can give a double whammy that includes liver failure.