What a waste!

Visited the doctor a couple of days ago as my hand is painful. I thought I had a splinter in there, the doc sent me for an ultrasound and as that showed nothing he prescribed some medication. The French healthcare system is, in my experience, superb. My question is, why have I received approximately three times the quantity of medication that the doctor prescribed?

Everytime I go to the pharmacy i notice that each purchase is a bounty of pills and potions.

It is alays a very, very busy place.....the pharmacy.

That doesn't happen here at our pharmacy in Dompierre-les-Ormes. You get what has been prescribed and that is it.

We have to go along each month to get a new supply of our regular medicines, although we have one or two that can be given for a three month period.

Perhaps they think that we won't last that long!!

I have been lucky and haven't had to use the health system. My question is, if the ultrasound showed nothing what did he say it is and if he couldn't say then what has he prescribed? Seems like a classic case of treating the symptoms and not the problem. A bit like some of the responses really where we are talking about the amounts prescribed rather than the grip big pharma have on the medical profession.

Sore point? ('scuse the pun)

Yes, our vet only gives exact measure too. It is humans who get wheelbarrow loads of surplus drugs, etc per year.

@Valerie Our vet here gives us just what we need in the way of pills. Maybe the rules are different for vets. Must ask my pharmacienne next time I see her why it can't be done for human medicines. Probably something to do with the secu which wouldn't know how much to refund if they gave us exactly the number of pills we need and not the whole box. Long time since I saw a doc/had a prescription in the UK so I'm way out of date (about 30 years!) but don't you pay a flat rate in the UK for a prescription? Which would be why they can give you exactly the right amount of medicine?

@Janet.Try giving them to Secours Catholique, Emmaus or any other charity if you want to get rid of them.

They don't take crutches back in the UK either.

Drugs aren't expensive in the USA (assuming you have the insurance). If not you die, then its irrelevant. Count your blessings, insurance companies world-over are not in the business of paying claims.

When I was in Malta (and actually at the vet's too!) the pharmacist used to open the box of meds, tear off the number of tablets the doc had prescribed and put the rest back in the box ready to count out for the next person. With liquid antibiotics for the Twerp, they used to measure & mix the amount into a bottle. Is that not allowed here?

This is where they could save money...they do not buy stock only prepacked boxes of meds...the pharmacies do not want to repack like UK & USA...luckily they aren't as pricey as USA.

Yes Christopher, good point!

Beware what you wish for.

@Janet, "Tripping over crutches" love it :D

As my doc explained, it is almost customary for them to make out prescriptions for three months and nearly all things are prescribed for a month a time. Eh what, OK good for me and my needs, but when my daughter needed a particular skin cream for a week to ten days why did she need two tubes and a twice renewable prescription? Doh!

I'm fed up with throwing away perfectly good medicine just because I only needed two pills from the last box of 30. Have actually been asked by pharmaciens whether I'd be happy to forgo the last box when it's clear it's going to be a waste. So some of them are conscious of the problem and are trying to do something about it. It would also help if doctors prescribed in weeks rather than months. Because if the doc says to take it for a month and the pills come in a box of 28 and not 30, the pharmacien feels obliged to give you two boxes (unless it's February and not a leap year!) to make up the full month. And antibiotics; it's almost always a five-day course of medication so why doesn't the box contain just enough pills for five days? It can't be that difficult. I've had a go at our local deputé, the doc, the pharmacien and anyone else I can think of about this but it doesn't register. Old habits and all that. And I suppose it's just possible that selling you more medication than you actually need improves somebody's profits? I wonder who that could be?

Because this is France...! My OH was thought I was joking when I told her how it workd in the UK - "how do you build up your home pharmacie if it works like that?" was her reply! you should see my MIL's pharmacie - she's got more medication than your average hospital! But things are changing, at least we have generic stuff being perscribed, the next move will surely be perscribing only the number/quantity necessary.