“It’s like the quest for the Holy Grail,” explains Danielle. Suffering from heart problems, this 61-year-old from Isère goes “around the pharmacies in the region every month” to renew her treatment. While Aurélien Rousseau, the Minister of Health, must take stock this week with the stakeholders involved in inventory managementof many readers tell us how difficult it is to obtain certain medications.
“I have already called 15 pharmacies and none have my medicine. It is painful. » Denise, a 64-year-old Alsatian, suffers from Ménière’s disease, which causes very severe dizziness. Without Betaserc, she is forced to “stay in bed for several days”. Suffering from the same illness and treated with the same medication, Anne, a 70-year-old from Lyon, specifies that without her treatment, she “vomited for two days” during her last attack.
“I had severe attacks of arrhythmia which could have possibly led to a stroke”
So, faced with tensions over drug stocks, patients and pharmacists are coping. Suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, Névrick, 66, must take cortisone every day. “The 1 g tablets are out of stock. Those of 5 g sometimes are. So I juggle with the dosages,” explains this resident of Hautes-Alpes.
But for François, it could have been fatal. This 66-year-old Alsatian must take Flécaine 50 mg for his heart. “This dosage was out of stock, so the pharmacist offered me 100 mg tablets to cut in half. I followed this substitution treatment for two weeks, but it was not ‘sustained release’, that is to say the gradual diffusion over 24 hours. I had severe attacks of arrhythmia which could have potentially led to a stroke. Today I found the right dosage, but for how long? » he asks.
Unable to find their treatment in France, some turn to border countries. If Daniel, a 72-year-old resident of Haute-Saône, was unable to find his treatment in Germany “because the pharmacies are all out of stock due to the influx of French patients”, Nicolas had more lucky in Italy. “I have to take treatment three times a day for life. The first medication that my surgeon prescribed to me is out of stock everywhere,” explains this 54-year-old resident of Saône-et-Loire. “So he prescribed me another one, but according to my pharmacist it is no longer sold in mainland France. Fortunately, my father lives on the French Riviera and found it in Italy. »
“In addition to sometimes serious pathologies, we add the stress of knowing if we will find the essential medications to be able to live, quite simply,” concludes sadly Hélène, a 67-year-old from Stéphane.