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A selfish attitude

From Mr D. J. Fallon, MRPharmS

With reference to the letter from Diane Bland (PJ, 21 April, p457) regarding the difficulties of cutting packs containing 30 tablets when a sensible standard would be a multiple of 28 days’ supply: this situation is inefficient for dispensing and confusing for patients, but occurs because drug manufacturers in Europe think metrically, even in terms of days. It is a selfish attitude because patients cannot benefit from calendar packs. For example, Servier crams its Coversyl into a foil that cannot be easily cut and results in some patients getting ridiculous off-cuts with two tablets per foil.

Other issues concerning me are that tablets such as Maxtrex are not blister-packed when they may cause harm through skin contact or inhalation, and the poor quality and text size of patient information leaflets, which seem to be designed to meet a minimum legal standard rather than actually advise the patient.

In addition, I see many patients who run out of medicines because their tablet quantities are not synchronised and it is disgraceful that this causes stress for patients and more work for pharmacists when we have to record the tablets loaned and delete them from the next supply.

These problems have been mentioned in The Journal over many years and some have given up complaining. Only commercial pressures will promote a change. It would be useful to complain to representatives when they call and for primary care trusts to have a drugs list that supports 28-day packs.

Dennis Fallon

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10003797

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