Yesterday I was on RTE Radio 1 talking to Joe Duffy on Liveline about the Versatis patches. I wanted to tell Jono’s story and how he is suffering due to these patches being removed as a treatment for chronic pain by the HSE.
I didn’t get very long to talk as there are so many other people in the same situation. My main point is about the damage that could be done by the painkillers given to substitute the patches. Versatis don’t have an impact on the stomach as they are placed on the skin, so far the only common side effect noted is a skin rash.
Jono is anaemic which is quite unusual for a man, the consultant is concerned that he might have an ulcer so next week he has to undergo a gastroscopy. It makes me worried about the long-term damage that the painkillers are doing.
Since being on the radio I’ve found out that Versatis patches can be bought privately from the chemist. This was something we weren’t told, we were just told you can’t get them anymore unless you have shingles. So now I’m trying to find out if you need a prescription from a GP or can you just walk in and buy them. I’m also researching getting them in other countries, people have told me various prices but it’s very hard to find the true story. I’ve sent off a few emails to see what information I can find.
Hopefully we will find a way to get these patches without needing to go through the HSE at all. I know the health board need to save money, I completely understand that but when you see the amount of money that is wasted you have to question it. We received three letters for the same appointment and yes I know that’s only a drop in the ocean but how many others are getting that amount sent? What about the amount of money spent on sending people overseas for surgery because the waiting lists are so long here?
These patches were withdrawn without any consultation or research of how beneficial they are. There was no thought put into it. I’d like to know the costs compared to other medications which seem to be dished out without a single thought. Anyway I’m sure the conversation will continue.
To those commenting without any experience of chronic pain you will do anything you can to minimise the suffering of a family member. In my case, at the moment, I feel completely useless because as much as I’m trying I can’t make my son feel better.