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-   -   England wants to limit osteo drugs (https://www.healthboards.com/boards/osteoporosis/541406-england-wants-limit-osteo-drugs.html)

jacal5 10-09-2007 08:23 AM

England wants to limit osteo drugs
 
Hi all,

I found the article (excerpts) below on England planning to limit osteo drugs in a London newspaper dated today, 10/09/2007, I thought it might be of interest, especially since going to England for strontium has been mentioned in recent posts:


Under the proposed guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, women in England and Wales who are diagnosed with thinning bones would be allowed only one drug, alendronate, which costs just 1 a week.

Alternative medications, which average around 3 a week more, could be prescribed only with the approval of cash-strapped primary care trusts.

This is despite the fact that around one in four women suffer crippling side effects from alendronate or do not respond to it. Banning alternatives will greatly raise their risk of a serious fracture condemning them to a life of pain.

Other drugs, such as strontium, would cost as much as 30 a month and some even more.

The National Osteoporosis Society has lodged an appeal against the planned guidelines, which will be heard later this month.

The society says the drug restrictions would leave hundreds of thousands of patients untreated and at risk. It says treatment would be mostly limited to people over 70.

CrohnieToo 10-09-2007 10:35 AM

Re: England wants to limit osteo drugs
 
Prior to the US dollar's recent decline strontium would cost about US$45 a month in the UK.

Is Forteo even approved at all in the UK?? Boggles the mind what it must cost there IF it is approved for use.

CrohnieToo 10-09-2007 10:38 AM

Re: England wants to limit osteo drugs
 
Or should I have said "if it WAS approved"? And we want a national health care plan in the US??? I think NOT!

suzieuk45 10-13-2007 09:20 AM

Re: England wants to limit osteo drugs
 
[QUOTE=CrohnieToo;3249227]Or should I have said "if it WAS approved"? And we want a national health care plan in the US??? I think NOT![/QUOTE]

Hi there - I'm in the UK and there are a lot of protests going on about the latest policy on osteoporosis drugs. I am on Fosamax (coming up to 2 years) - after making lots of complaints I was finally referred to a consultant which was a waste of time. I wanted a follow up bone scan so that I could have some idea whether the treatment is working or not but was told I couldn't have one and that even if I did have one the result would make no difference as Fosamax is the best treatment and I wouldn't be offered anything else anyway!!!! Funny that it just happens to be the cheapest:) Strontium ranelate is licensed but is mostly given to those over 75 or in exceptional circumstances to those who react very badly to bisphosphanates. Forteo is also available on a limited basis and only for women ( a few months ago I read an article about a retired male doctor who was going to court to obtain Forteo). Our so called National Health service is a joke :mad: - if I lived 20 or 30 miles away in a different 'trust' area I might be entitled to a follow up bone scan - it's what we call a post code lottery. There have been cases of people being refused cancer treatment drugs but someone 5 miles away under a different trust will get it. I am having a rant but from what I have read on this board in the States you have all sorts of tests done that I could only get if I paid a fortune. I have decided I am going to have a private bone scan done after Xmas - if the treatment isn't working I don't know what I will do as I couldn't afford to pay privately for medicine. I think I'll just go the alternative route if that is the case- I am taking terramin clay anyway and was taking Reosto but have run out. Sorry for the ramble;) I'm taling too much. Good luck to all.

peppurr 10-13-2007 09:27 AM

Re: England wants to limit osteo drugs
 
Hi Suzie!

Just wanted to add my 2 pence :jester: I live in Canada and my doctor recently told me (when I started Fosamax) that I would have a bone scan in 3 yrs. He said it takes that long to see if it's doing anything worthwhile.

jacal5 10-13-2007 06:36 PM

Re: England wants to limit osteo drugs
 
[QUOTE=suzieuk45;3256050]Hi there - I'm in the UK and there are a lot of protests going on about the latest policy on osteoporosis drugs. I am on Fosamax (coming up to 2 years) - after making lots of complaints I was finally referred to a consultant which was a waste of time. I wanted a follow up bone scan so that I could have some idea whether the treatment is working or not but was told I couldn't have one and that even if I did have one the result would make no difference as Fosamax is the best treatment and I wouldn't be offered anything else anyway!!!! Funny that it just happens to be the cheapest:) Strontium ranelate is licensed but is mostly given to those over 75 or in exceptional circumstances to those who react very badly to bisphosphanates. Forteo is also available on a limited basis and only for women ( a few months ago I read an article about a retired male doctor who was going to court to obtain Forteo). Our so called National Health service is a joke :mad: - if I lived 20 or 30 miles away in a different 'trust' area I might be entitled to a follow up bone scan - it's what we call a post code lottery. There have been cases of people being refused cancer treatment drugs but someone 5 miles away under a different trust will get it. I am having a rant but from what I have read on this board in the States you have all sorts of tests done that I could only get if I paid a fortune. I have decided I am going to have a private bone scan done after Xmas - if the treatment isn't working I don't know what I will do as I couldn't afford to pay privately for medicine. I think I'll just go the alternative route if that is the case- I am taking terramin clay anyway and was taking Reosto but have run out. Sorry for the ramble;) I'm taling too much. Good luck to all.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for explaining the meaning of a 'trust area', I was wondering what that meant when I posted excerpts from the article on the UK wanting to limit access to osteoporosis drugs. It's a shame that you can't have a follow up bone density for your peace of mind, and it would also save you money if your scan showed improved density so you would not have to purchase additional supplements. It's a good idea to get a private scan, in the U.S. it costs about 98 British pounds.

One reader of the London paper commented that Camilla Parker-Bowles (or is she Windsor now) is involved with osteoporosis.

I am on Medicare (and pay for an additional medical insurance supplement), a government program for retired or disabled workers and I can get a bone scan every two years. Although I have double coverage, I still have to pay a small amount out of pocket for certain tests.
In the U.S. we can get tests done, but it's been my experience that many doctors do not suggest appropriate preventative care testing (like getting a colonscopy, cardiac stress test, or ovarian cancer test at age 50) to save the insurance companies money. When I have requested a blood test to check for ovarian cancer I was told I was paranoid about getting cancer by my doctor, but I got it anyway because I spoke up. I lied to a cardiologist about chest pain so I could get a stress test. He ended up writing me a prescription for nitroglycerin to cover himself for testing me, even though the test was negative! I told him I did not fill the prescription and to take it off my medical records immediately!! Having a prescription for nitro on my medical records might prevent me from getting life insurance, I was so upset!

My 78 year old mom, who has high blood pressure, cholesterol, and a family history of heart attack fainted three years ago and was taken to a hospital. A cardiologist told me at her bedside that a stress test wasn't necessary when I suggested it, even though she never had one to determine if her arteries are blocked with plaque. I insisted she have the test so he scheduled her. Another cardiologist did the stress test and it had to be stopped because her heart could not tolerate the treadmill, it was determined she had atrial fibrillation and was put on blood thinners to prevent a heart attack or stroke. If I didn't intervene and insist on the stress test, she might not be living today!

My father died of colon cancer five years ago, he was not referred to a cancer specialist before surgery, and did not receive chemo after the surgery which should have been done as we have been told by an oncologist. The oncologist was only brought in when his cancer reoccurred a year later when his chances were only 30% to survive! We were told by his doctor that he did not get a colonoscopy to check for cancer because his insurance company wouldn't pay for it!

Just recently my best friend's gastroenterologist told her she didn't need a colonoscopy because she had one three years ago, and she should wait another two years. She consulted a cancer specialist and he gave her a prescription to have it done. It turns out she had a big polyp removed, and the gastroenterologist said, "it's a good thing you didn't wait, this polyp could have turned to cancer!" Yet, he was the one who didn't want to test her!

The U.S. medical system might be better than the U.K., but in my opinion, the only way to get decent medical care in the U.S. is to speak up about getting appropriate medical tests even though the doctors will discourage you, be self educated about your medical conditions, and don't go along with any treatment plan unless you have researched all your options.


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