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When the MHRA delicensed the product at the end of December 2007 they admitted in published documentation that there would be “some” patients left without suitable alternate pain management, and guaranteed that these patients would be protected and their well-being made safe by their “Named Patient safety Net.” Simultaneously they introduced a policy that the “RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PRESCRIBING OF CO-PROXAMOL BY UK DOCTORS WOULD FALL ON THEM. This resulted in their insurers refusing to insure the doctors and the medical unions such as MDDUS who advised a blanket ban on any prescription for Co-proxamol. Subsequently this left their “Named Patient Safety Net” in tatters, and ultimately resulted in thousands of patients being left to live without suitable pain management, or left to cope with unmedicated pain.
During 2015 The NHS RAG list (Red, Amber, Green) categorised Co-proxamol as a BLACK DRUG which in turn prevented GP's from prescribing the drug. This decision has again resulted in another price increase to £49.50 a 17 fold increase on the licensed price for Co-proxamol, THIS WAS NOT THE PATIENTS FAULT! This now appears to have put the final nail in the coffin of the MHRA’s shambolic “named patients safeguard.”
This horrendous decision has left thousands of patients who couldn't tolerate any of the alternate medications in a dire and deteriorating situation!
The MHRA's decision to remove the licence for Co-proxamol was on the grounds of the number of suicides in the UK. However the suicide rate continues to increase, with male rate at its highest since 2001. The male suicide rate has increased significantly since 2007, the ONS said, while female rates have stayed relatively constant and were consistently lower than those for men. UK deaths from alternate pain killers have also increased since the ban.
Because the deaths involving Tramadol in 2014 are almost identical as it was with Co-proxamol during 2007 the MHRA appears to be in the exact same situation they were in 2004. Surely it’s now time to reconsider the fact that Co-proxamol was and is a far superior medication when compared to Tramadol and Co-proxamol SHOULD BE RELICENCED IMMEDIATELY!
On 27th June 2006 MHRA; Based on the review of the data on quality, safety and efficacy the UK granted a marketing authorisation for the medicinal product Tramadol 50mg Capsules (PL 17907/0110) to Bristol Laboratories Limited.
Was this another mistake made by MHRA? Because on the 13th Feb 2013 the “Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs” sent a letter to Parliament Re- Tramadol (Dear Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Health)
Extract from letter;
“Prescribing data from the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) indicate an increase in prescribing, with the number of Daily Defined Doses (England) increasing from approximately 5.9 million in September 2005 to 11.1 million in September 2012. This may be associated with Co-proxamol’s phased withdrawal from 2005. Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) for 2011 shows 154 deaths where tramadol had been mentioned on the death certificates; in 2009 there were 87 such mentions and in 2008 this figure was 83. The majority of tramadol related deaths are where it has been obtained through non–prescribed means.”
2007 DEATHS WHERE CO-PROXAMOL WAS MENTIONED ON DEATH CERTIFICATES 242
2014 DEATHS WHERE TRAMADOL WAS MENTIONED ON DEATH CERTIFICATES 240. WHAT WAS THE POINT OF BANNING CO-PROXAMOL?
Deaths involving Co-codamol (paracetamol and codeine) increased by 21% in 2014 to a new high of 63 deaths.
Deaths involving Codeine increased from 130 in 2013 to 136 (2014)
Deaths involving other specified opiate increased From 93 in 2013 to 129 (2014)
JUNE 2014 THE HOME OFFICE ISSUED AN URGENT COMMUNICATION (RENDERING TRAMADOL A CONTROLLED DRUG). MOST PATIENTS & CLINICIANS WOULD HAVE WELCOMED “CONTROLLED STATUS” FOR CO-PROXAMOL BACK IN 2007!
What Can Patients Do?
Check for any petitions or blogs on the subject and sign or comment.
Contact your MP, local Press and CCG.
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