Sunday, 1 August 2021

Taken for a Mug!


After I was first diagnosed with having Type 2 Diabetes, I would always take my small 3-monthly prescription to a Pharmacy that was very near to my doctor's surgery. They were reasonably efficient, but certainly lacked bedside (pharmacy-side) manner. They were often very offhand, and unfriendly; not only with me, but with everyone.


Now, since we have a brand new Pharmacy nearer to home, I have changed my allegiance, and am more than happy to have done so.

Recently I noticed that my current prescription, which involves about twice the amount of pills than back in 2015, costs about half the price. €52.34 now; as compared with €113.76 back in 2015.

Maybe pharmaceuticals prices have dropped drastically over the past 7 years.... but somehow I doubt it. I think my previous Pharmacy simply doubled the price, and hoped I wouldn't notice! I had no knowledge of the price of pills, and as I didn't hold a French health card (Carte Vitale) they could charge me whatever they wanted, without any Insurance Co asking questions.

Last night we discussed what, if anything, I should do about it. If they were overcharging me, then they were certainly overcharging others, and they should be stopped.

We eventually decided that, as in so many circumstances, it would be better to do nothing. People have a way in France of never taking responsibility for their own actions, and turn the blame on the innocent.

Frankly I don't care any more, I shall simply have to accept the fact that I was being grossly overcharged for years, and keep on smiling.

p.s. I would like to add that when at my new Pharmacy to get my recent prescription, the 'boss' was being very attentive to an elderly lady who was also collecting her medication. He sat down with her for some while, helped her to her feet when she left, and made sure that everything was OK. It was the perfect demonstration of kindness, which one would never have seen at the old Pharmacy; he's an extremely nice man. We (of course) all waited patiently until he had made sure she was safe, and on her way.

31 comments:

  1. Yeah, you see, good old NHS. I swear by it.

    Prescription charge currently £9.35 which, of course, does not reflect the price of the medicines themselves and does not, as per your example, line the individual pharmacist's pocket but goes to the NHS. And many exemptions are made - eg in your case, as you are over sixty, your prescription would be free.

    As to chasing your previous pharmacist for overcharging: Is it worth the time? On the other hand, even if I couldn't be arsed on my own behalf I might act on that of others. You could write to the pharmacist himself to give him a warning shot, and it most certainly would be of interest to the local press. And make you hugely popular (or not)! Beware the French! :)

    U

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had thought of contacting the Pharmacist's governing body, but what would be the point? I was conned, and that's an end to it.

      Delete
    2. The governing body is the best way to go. But they will probably send you a letter saying along the lines of each business can charge what they want.

      However actions may be taken behind the scenes. He can be reprimanded.

      Who knows, there may be other complaints on record.

      Delete
  2. That is interesting. Is that for 3 months' supply i.e. 180 tablets? Here we pay $5 per item (2.95 euro) for the first 20 items per family per annum then free

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 3 different pills for 3 months, with one of them being taken twice a day. As Ursula says above, back in the UK one pays under £10 for however many pills one has.

      Delete
    2. Actually I think for OAP's it's free.

      Delete
  3. The law is quite simple. All remborsable medication has the same price in all pharmacies, for others the price can be fixed by the pharmacy. I am very surprised that as a resident for 47 years and member of the EU (not any more ) you have no insurance card,an European one or la carte vitale ? How did you manage the fees for your children if they were born in France and what would happen if you need an urgent operation and when you see a doctor do you pay your visit ? And your covid vaccination did you pay for it ? Normally the European countries have a convention for Health care but I do not know how it is managed with the UK.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You may not know, but health care in the UK is FREE, even for the French. I usually just paid cash for whatever hospital visits were required (two births, one operation), but now as we are out of the EU, I have a free Global Health Card from the NHS which will pay for any care required, almost anywhere in the world.

      Delete
    2. Well you must have a lot of money if you can afford births and operation which are both very expensive. I do not yet understand why you had no health convention between France and the UK when the UK was still in the EU. I studied , worked and lived 46 years in Paris, since 11 years I'm retired and back in Germany where I never worked etc. My French healtcare securité sociale has be transposed to the German AOK and all my medication ( more than 600 Euros per 3 months) costs only 5 € per medication . No problems at all.

      Delete
    3. My wife has a Carte Vitale, but for bizarre technical reasons I don't. I can't be bothered to explain.

      Delete
  4. Private prescriptions in the UK are the same, pharmacists pluck a figure out of the air. I queried a difference once and the pharmacist just shrugged. Of course NHS ones are all treated the same and free if you are over 60.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that'll be quite a novelty for me. Free pills at last.

      Delete
  5. Think what will be more interesting is what France will do when you produce your passport when you go to UK and have clearly overstayed the 90/180 rule.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have to be out by September 30th, then remain in the UK for six months before returning in April for six months; etc etc.

      My new passport was issued in 2018, so shows no dates of entry into France. The last time I came home was probably in 1999, and no record was made. They can do what they like!

      Delete
    2. I think you got un titre de séjour permanent as you live for already 47 years in France and normally you have the right to stay in France even after Brexit . But of course I do not know how it works for every individual case. Good luck, seems all quite complicated to me.

      Delete
    3. For non-EU members, those applying for a new Carte de Séjour will have to pay French income and capital gains taxes. I'm not prepared to do that. For those who have no foreign assets it's fine, but for us it's not. I think a lot of Brits are unaware of this, and a lot of newly acquired C de J's will soon be cancelled.

      Delete
    4. You can’t do 6 months in France at a time, 90 days then must leave for 90 days.

      Delete
    5. No, you simply apply online for a 6 month visa... no problem.

      Delete
  6. Although I am not yet of state pension age I qualify for free prescriptions on account of my long term thyroid condition. This includes all medication, not just my thyroid pills.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My great age means I should get both free scrips and a bus pass... I can hardly wait.

      Delete
  7. Surely there's a regulatory authority that you could report the old pharmacy to? It sounds as though you were a serial victim of daylight robbery. They should not be allowed to get away with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No the pharmacy has the right to make its own price ( which can be up to your Times higher) if the medication is non reborsable.

      Delete
    2. They saw me coming. Of course at the time I had no idea they were fleecing me. We live'n learn.

      Delete
  8. Our Pharmacy is much the same and once a year the Pharmacist calls you into his inner sanctum and goes through all your pills and discusses them with you. And here of course with our wonderful NHS we get them all for nothing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm looking forward to having free meds, but even at €50 for three months isn't too bad.

      Delete
  9. Your case seems really strange to me. In a family when one person has la carte vitale the other members can be charge on the same carte vitale. Probably your spouse worked in a French company which allowed her to get la carte. Anyway your medical situation will be happier in the UK.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure if that's the case, but things will certainly be simpler back in the UK.

      Delete
  10. That happened about ten years ago here. I don't mind paying a little bit more to local businesses but after visiting Chemist Warehouse a long time ago now, the price of my medications dropped from around $85 to under $30. Lack of service to offer cheap prices? No, Chemist Warehouse offers great service and is very caring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My new pharmacy is far superior to the old one. It was the 'boss' who gave me my jabs recently.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  12. We are fortunate that prescriptions here are free, as in Wales too.
    I wonder if your prescribed drug came out of licence so that it could be purchased cheaper by the pharmacy?

    ReplyDelete

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