Prescription Problems

My blood is boiling this afternoon listening to Joe Duffy and Liveline on RTE Radio 1. It was all about the plight of poor people in chronic pain who can now longer get the Versatis patches from the HSE.

Jono is one of those people, at 24, he’s probably one of the youngest ones that was on the patches. They have been withdrawn by the HSE unless a patient has shingles. Instead of the patches, which were an enormous help to Jono, he was given Solpadol (2 500 mg tablets 4 times a day. Why? Why give him something that is as addictive as morphine that could potentially damage his liver and kidneys? Why not leave him on the patches which wouldn’t have any side effects apart from a skin rash which he never had?

Although Jono is now getting pain management injections which give him relief to his upper spine he is now in pain in his lower back. The patches used to take the edge of the pain and enable him to at least go for a walk. Now he can’t even do that. I have traveled to Dublin to seek assistance and advice but to no avail.

I was horrified to hear the doctor who was speaking to Joe Duffy suggesting that the patches are only a placebo. He doesn’t have to live with someone in chronic pain. He doesn’t have to see them at their lowest wondering how they can carry on with the pain they are in. He doesn’t have to help his son stand up from a chair. How dare he. I would love to see him walk a mile in Jono’s shoes.

Not only do we have to try our best for our son but now we have this constant battle with the HSE.  Is it any wonder that I have anxiety and depression? My stress levels at the moment are through the roof but are still nothing compared to Jono’s suffering. He is 24 years old, he should be out living life to the fullest not laid up in bed. I am so angry and I’m even angrier after reading The Sunday Business Post about the amount of people addicted to prescription drugs – why am I not surprised?

I tried to get through to Jo and spoke to a lady who took my details but I didn’t get a call back. I will continue fighting for Jono until someone listens to me. I feel so sorry for the others in pain who have no one to fight for them. Only two weeks ago I was speaking to a nurse who said there are boxes of Versatis patches in nursing homes unopened. They were dished out to people who didn’t used them. Why can’t these be redistributed?

No one thinks about patients or their families when they just decide cuts to the HSE need to be made and withdraw much-needed medication. Jono is also waiting 10 months for a follow up appointment in Dublin to see if he needs another surgery, we’ve been told not to hold our breath.

8 thoughts on “Prescription Problems

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  1. The fact he was a friend of the guy who made the final decision too, he was so infuriating same attitude, absolutely boiling after them

  2. I was going to press the “like” button but I couldn’t allow myself to like what you’ve written.

    Our government leave a lot to be desired. They are constantly making cuts to the most vulnerable people in our society and never think twice about the consequences that it might have. Nobody should be allowed to make such serious decisions unless they have consulted with a team of individuals who know what they’re talking about. A team that support those with chronic pain for example, representatives for those who need a voice. I am so sorry that your son has had to endure such pain.

    My heart breaks for your son and your family. More needs to be done for those of us who need their voices heard.

    This is not ok.

    1. I am in chronic pain 25 years and totally agree with u the hse and the goverment dont give a fuck about us poor people in pain or the fact we cant afford the patches .rob the poor to pay the rich .we should vote all these assholes out next election and put sinn feinn in power come mary lou macdonald and good man joe duffy.billy costello.

  3. I understand your distress and anxiety. Versatis patches were originally licensed for post-herpetic pain, a type of chronic neuropathy which can follow shingles.
    Gradually, it appeared to help people with various types of chronic pain. Now the HSE has decided its cost will no longer be covered under Medical Card or DPS scheme – suddenly there’s no money anymore.
    I’ve had 2 medications, which took the edge off the pain, withdrawn for the same reason.

    People have been turning to Liveline Thursday, Friday and again today. You’re Jono’s voice, and he needs to have his refusal overturned.
    Your best bet is to email Liveline with details. The producer decides who should be rung to talk on the show, so you need to give phone no. Researchers are extremely pleasant and professional, you’ll forget everything except what you want to say. Perhaps the effect Jono’s situation has on you? That’s important.
    Email :
    Best of luck, Val. 💕

  4. I’m so sorry to hear of this, and of all the troubles Juno is having, and yes, the stress on the family. What kind of Dr was this guy- I have had the same experiences with mental health issues, just makes one blood boil. Be assured, you are not the only one who is outraged, you are not alone. Know that your advocacy does help- even when it feels like it does not. Take care of yourself, and know that this will fuel you for more work ahead. Sending warm blankets, hot tea and hugs your way.

  5. I new someone that was on these patches when they sadly passed away i brough opened box back to chemist. They asked did i no someone that could use them as they would have to put them in bin. I was told that was the last time the person could have got them on medical card because now they would have to pay a 100 euro for a months supply

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