Letter from GP re: discontinuing celebrex

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Starburst
Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
edited 18. Aug 2014, 03:42 in Living with Arthritis archive
I knew nothing about this until I got a letter this morning (accompanied by a prescription for Naproxen) saying that my surgery will no longer prescribe celebrex due to the cardiovascular risks.

I'm a bit miffed because I have discussed this with them before. It was agreed that they are prescribing under the instruction of my rheumatologist and that the risks vs. benefits have been discussed. I thought everyone was in agreement and that my rheum was to review me if she had any concerns but it appears they now have a blanket policy. The drug works very well in terms of pain management and I am very nervous about trying something new.

I see my rheum on 1st September, so will discuss it then but I think I may be fighting a losing battle.

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  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    It might be worth making a telephone appt. with your GP. This could be a blanket practice decision with letters sent out by a practice manager who has no idea of individual needs and might even be relying on dissatisfied patients complaining before reversing it for individuals.

    Many moons ago I was getting on reasonably with voltarol until everything went generic. I was given dicofenac and it hit my stomach straight away. I asked to go back to voltarol and was given it.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    This happened to me the opposite way around 12 months ago. My Rheumy (a SHO) stopped it for that reason. One GP backed her decision giving me a very useless slow release ibuprofen alternative and then another GP put it back on repeat for me and it hasn't been queried since. I do wonder whether, along with the caridiac risk reason there is also a price reason (I may be being cynical). I'd go and speak to them directly and see how they respond.
    Hey little fighter, things will get brighter
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I liked celebrex but was taken off it by my then GP (who was prescribing it on the instruction of my rheumatologist) because the rules and regs. changed and he claimed that the Practice could no longer afford it. I was put onto naproxen and omep without any consultation and my decline accelerated. :roll: I now have diclofenac but fully expect another letter soon telling me they are swapping me back to naproxen (they've done so with Mr DD). I don't think so.

    Fight your corner, Sophie. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • purplepatch
    purplepatch Member Posts: 28
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Had this recently with Diclofenac, hospital recommend change to naproxen because of increased risk to heart (not that I've had any problems). Tried naproxen for 3 weeks without any benefit & now feel I'm back where I was 5 years ago re pain & stiffness in joints! GP confirmed I could go back on to Diclofenac as long as I was aware of the risks - fine with me, I'd rather live today than worry about tomorrow.
    They've done their bit, I'm aware of the risks, we're all happy .... until the next time!!
    Hopefully you get this sorted out soon

    Purple
  • As5567
    As5567 Member Posts: 665
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I have had this happen 3-4 times so far with Arcoxia. They will claim its down to health risks but the true story is its down to cost saving measures.

    celecoxib 100 mg (white/blue), net price 60-cap pack = £21.55;

    naproxen 250 mg, net price 28-tab pack = £1.15; 500 mg, 28-tab pack = £1.82

    I would make an appointment with your GP and tell them that you wish to stay on Celebrex. If they refuse then your Rheumatologist will need to write a letter to them saying that he/she recommends you stay on the treatment. This typically happens to me once per year and each time my rheumatologist has to send a letter to my GP. Only then will they put it back on my prescription.

    My gp always try to tell me Naproxen is the same type of drug and should work the same. They are under financial pressure to cut their costs and sadly you have been a victim of this. The so called increased heart attack risk has been published since the early 2000's and I don't see why they would only be bringing that up now.

    I wish you luck in getting it back!
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hope you can get something sorted, like someone said this could be a blanket letter sent to everyone on it, hopefully your Rheumy will be able to help..good luck
    Love
    Barbara
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you for the replies.

    I remember when I was first prescribed that my GP surgery told me it was a very expensive medication, so I am now wondering if that is the real issue.

    I'm feeling a little...delicate at the moment. I wouldn't have minded being asked to discuss it but I would have liked to have some choice and the option to consent before being sent a 'script.

    I'm not convinced this is the best possible timing for changing medications, especially one that works so well. I have a 3 month supply of celebrex left, so I have some time.
  • As5567
    As5567 Member Posts: 665
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I would say its due to money, and they are just trying to find excuses to shift people off the drug. Stand your ground and fight for the medication, its not banned for use on the NHS so I don't see why they have any reason to take you off it when your consultant is the one who's prescribed it.

    Good luck with it anyhow, having 3 months supply is helpful and gives you some time to sort this out, which no doubt will take weeks rather than days.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    It's bound to be money-related, we are expensive patients for the NHS but as we pay for our scripts (OK, nowhere near the full cost of the meds but we do) then I think we should be able to have the drugs that help us. We are more than vessels to balance their books. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben