"I can't get a prescription for my usual medication"

About: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

(as a parent/guardian),

My daughter is visiting for a year in the UK as an exchange student. She checked ahead of time and was told her medication would be available for her to purchase, and so she only brought a limited supply with her from the USA.

She also brought a copy of her medical records. This is a common medication there as well as here. She has been on it for over seven years, after much trial and error with other meds that had bad side effects for her.

Several doctors here have given it their blessing and it works well for her. She was told to visit a clinic to get a UK prescription, but the doctor there would not give her one. The NHS doctor said they should not prescribe that med to people who have migraines, which she has an average of once a year. (If she didn't have migraines, they would write it for her. ) She's explained her complicated medical issues, and that what they wanted to substitute did not work well for her. She tried to show them her existing prescriptions and history, but they seem unwilling to listen.

She'll be out of the medication in a week, and your NHS is not helpful. She cannot find anyone who can help her in your system. She's asked if she could speak with someone more senior, and got a terse message restating the same information.

She has no idea who to turn to now. (From what I find on your website, it says the med should be prescribed with care, not that it is prohibited in her case. )

My daughter is willing to pay for the medication, but needs a valid UK prescription. I can't legally send the supply she has here to her there. She'll be home at Christmas, and can take enough back with her then, but should not be without them for three months.

She has no idea how to find a private doctor, but is trying to rather desperately now.

The dismissive attitude she's being shown at the NHS is the worst part of it.

She's not a young girl, and they spoke to her as if she's an idiot rather than someone who's been very involved in her own rather extraordinary medical care for well over a decade.

I had expected something better for her, as I'd heard good things about your NHS.

This whole experience is putting a really negative tinge to her visit, which is very sad to see in her. I'm regretting having suggested that she go there in the first place, now. There were other exchange programs she could have chosen, where I would not have to worry about her being subjected to inadequate medical care. I will be concerned about that until she finally returns home.

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Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear She's a long way away from home,

First of all, I would like to apologise that your daughter has experienced such issues with her medication while away from home. So that I can direct the feedback to the relevant primary care area, I would ask your daughter to get in touch with me directly on lorna.gray@ggc.scot.nhs.uk.

Best Wishes,


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