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Propranolol - UK drugs shortage, you gotta laugh!


Yep. Yet another month when I collected a few pills, 25% of month’s requirement, and an IOU! Huge queue of people waiting in the pharmacy with queries for same reason and a very harrassed pharmacist. Feel so sorry for him. Talk about stressful! Actually Him Indoors collected ours this morning. Apparrently a man collecting his (no idea which drug of course but). next in queue was told they didn’t have any but should have some in four days only to reply ‘Well, I’m out. Have none for tonight!’… crazy, and the Departnent of Health is in total denial a supply problem exists it seems. Helen


Helen…i have had 3 months of Venlafaxine all different brands. Ive noticed one gives more side effects than the other 2…

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Not a bit surprised at that. I had one brand Propranolol that gave me serious reflux. So much so Doctor specified in prescription one specific brand only - yes, they can do that - unfortunately with all this recent ‘shortage’ that’s gone by the board and it’s Pick n Mix every month now. In fact the IOU’s are so big now we’ll be collecting weekly rather than monthly this time. If changing manufacturer of decaff teabags can upset your system a change of drug manufacturer doesn’t bear thinking about. Helen


And on it drags. My husband showed our pharmacist the letter from the Dept of Health assuring us there’s no shortage and the pharmacist showed him a record he keeps in his phone of all the drugs he cannot currently supply. A loong list it was too. Today my husband tried to trade in my IOU. The pharmacists’s first words were ‘how short is she? How many pills has she got left? Days or weeks supply?’. He had managed to obtain a few more to add to the 25% i received earlier. I now have 66% of my month’s allocation. Crazy situation. Helen


Hi Helen, I’ve been reading these updates over the past months and this is quite scary! I cannot imagine coming so close to not having the medications that you absolutely need. I’m thankful that we don’t have this issue in the US, at least right now… you never know what the future holds though and this thread has made me hyper-aware.


@anders454, aka Erik is in Seattle. Good way away from you I know. (Gosh how my geography of US has improved with mvertigo) but he’s had bit of trouble. Apparently there is a world shortage of the raw materials. It was on TV in UK couple of weeks back about the same time I heard from Dept of Health thst there was no shortage incidentally! They are obviously still in denial. Helen

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This has been a very interesting thread for me, too (I’m in the US). Interacting with so many UK members has made me curious about the similarities and differences in our two health systems. Someday I’ll start an off-topic thread where we can compare and contrast. :slight_smile:


The way it’s going at the moment I don’t think the NHS would stand much scrutiny! It’s struggling. It was (In 1947) a fantastic idea designed to save lives, it did and still does. Nobody in an emergency moment of need goes without attention but these days people demand far more of it than was ever originally intended. Although pre-MAV I’d never had a repeat prescription for anything ever I don’t think I’d ever heard of drug shortages until 2018. I will be interesting to find out what’s causing it. The truth’s bound to surface at some point. Glad you found it of interest. Because of our international nature I almost didn’t post it at all then thought one can easily ignore irrelevancies so went ahead. Helen


Venezuela is having an even worse time with drug shortages and health care in general. Looks like a real awful crisis to live through, I feel so bad for the citizens. The government is still refusing aid money to help. And their constitution specifically calls out “free healthcare” as a “right”.

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It looked dreadful on TV. Inflation! Apparently five potatoes costing a week’s salary or something like that. Other countries do need to be grateful for what they do have to hand. At least, so far, I’m getting enough pills just in time so far. Helen

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That’s very stressful! Day by day unsure if you have enough dosage. I’m sorry to even be reading this. I saw the shortage on the news a couple weeks ago and recalled this thread. I do hope they are able to fix the situation or come up with a resolution that’s consistent and still able to help other’s such as yourself.
It’s like a crap shoot taking a bunch of pills from a different manufacture each week. Hell on your system indeed. :frowning:

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Yes. Latest is there is a worldwide shortage of the raw materials used to produce alot of different pills. Thinking about that one wonders what is actually used. Is it grown or manufactured somewhere - in a war zone maybe, I had no problems for several years. Always got the same, prescription specified brand, even. My mother took alot of prescription meds over decades and I remember her being accidentally issued the wrong strength a couple of times but never shortages. Helen

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Or possibly big pharma just controlling supply and demand in order to keep their prices so high. Who knows…


Oh yes. Prices of 20 of the most commonly prescribed drugs in UK took an enormous price hike in 2017 just about when my pharmacist first had supply troubles although worldwise shortages of raw materials have been influencing things fir 10 years now according to recent radio reports. I found examples on line. From memory one strength Propranolol went from £1.99 per 28 pill pack to £19.99 virtually overnight. I’ve no real understanding of pharmacy supply chains and who/how the NHS settles its bills but I suspect somewhere along the line it all comes down to profit margins. Helen


Eventually we did manage to collect my full month’s allocation of Propranolol over the course of three trips to the pharmacy. Just as well it’s within three or four miles of home with on site parking. Collected the final amount last Friday and then back the following Tuesday for the next lot. Got a whole month’s allocation, I think, in the one go. Unfortunately it’s a brand I’ve only had once before and it’s the one I’ve liked least of the different ones I had so far. Par for the course I guess. Helen


Well. I really do have the luck of The Devil. Always knew it. Collected another full month’s supply in one trip and of course yet again they are the ones that disagree with me. They give me GERD for the introductory week though as this is second month running that should be OK as it’s just continuation at present but they seem to be the only ones that give me puffy ankles in the evenings and psoriasis on my stomach. No wonder my pharmacist can obtain a plentiful supply of these. I doubt anybody else wants them! Helen

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Reluctantly made the decision to change designated pharmacy for our drugs and moved from supposedly independent local to major chain, Boots, in town ten or so miles away. They say they have no problem in supplying my prescription specified brand, and so far so good we have now collected a full month’s supply at first attempt. Just hope my body ‘remembers’ them it’s been so long! Helen

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