A couple of months ago we ran an updated version of an archive article on obtaining prescription drugs whose excipients (non-active ingredients such as fillers, capsules and colourings) were free of lactose, starch, corn, azo dyes, sugars etc – a major problem for those with severe allergies or intolerances to any of these ingredients. (This is not only a problem with prescription drugs but with nutritional supplements – see Micki Rose’s article on trying to get corn/grain-free supplements, for example.)
The re-visit to the subject was triggered by Jackie Broadway’s struggle to get pain killing drugs (after a hip replacement) that were both corn and sugar free as she is acutely allergic to both. In theory there is a system through which you can access such medicines, via companies who can make up the drugs specially for you in a format that you can tolerate. The problem is that this is, understandably, an expensive process so Primary Care Trusts, and now, once again, GP’s are reluctant to fund the ‘special’ drugs unless they are absolute forced to do so. In the event, although Jacquie got one prescription via her GP, she ended up by paying for the repeat prescription needed to get her through to the point at which her hip was healed.
(One might well ask whether, given the ever growing numbers of those who are either allergic or acutely intolerant to these substances, it might not be worth drug companies’ while producing ‘freefrom’ versions of the most common/popular drugs – or even leaving out some of the less desirable ingredients such as azo dyes/colours altogether…)
Jacquie was fortunate in that, although she deeply resented having to pay for her ‘special’ drugs (why should she? If people who ‘self abuse’ by over-eating or generally failing to take care of their health can get free drugs for their resulting diabetes or heart conditions, why should she have to pay for drugs she needs through no fault of her own at all?) she did at least have the means to do so. But such is certainly not the case for everyone.
I have, for example, just had an email from Julie Cox who had read the original article, who has had serious allergies since birth and who needs on-going medications. I have no idea of Julie’s circumstances but unless she is Soros-rich she is not going to be able to afford to fund her own ‘special’ medications on an on-going basis. I am printing her email below and if anyone has any thoughts, helpful or otherwise, please post a comment.
The only even vaguely helpful suggestion I could come up with was to change doctor – and to be sure to interview any prospective new doctor to ensure that they would be more sympathetic. (You are quite entitled to ‘interview’ a doctor before signing up with them, although they are usually rather startled by the request to do so. I would suggest that it was a sensible move for anyone who suffers from allergies/intolerances to make sure that you are going to get a reasonable hearing.)
These reactions can affect me in terms of asthma, angioedema, throat mouth and tongue swelling, anaphylaxis, eczema, or further irritating of my already sensitive and inflamed digestive tract.