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The Great Libre Pharmacy Stock Conundrum...

Discussion in 'Blood Glucose Monitoring' started by RFSMarch, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. RFSMarch

    RFSMarch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    So I have been keeping a watchful eye on a FB group I belong to as to the various trials and tribulations some have had getting a consistent price from the likes of Boots, Asda and Lloyds. Hats off to some who have really been very diligent in pushing the point home to the big chains that:
    1) They have to register on Abbot's own B2B Portal to be able to order
    2) It is shocking how many of these business don't know/acknowledge that diabetics do not pay VAT leaving many having to download the forms themselves to brandish
    3) The fact that Abbot's themselves have created a heck of a lot of confusion by telling people they can buy them over the counter in Boots (not exactly easy for some!) or that the NHS have snapped up supply when many CCGs are still debating the criteria!

    I got my local pharmacist to place an order - he phoned Abbots and he set up an account - I informed him of the price range we face buying direct, so next week I will pop along and see what he comes up with (easier to wait until he is actually there and then go through the VAT issue with him directly).

    Surprised more folks have not thought of tackling the often local pharmacies that serve local surgeries. Maybe I am lucky - this pharmacist is quite encouraging of my trying to fix my diabetes with my own control and not just relying on the tablets... and also that I fill all my prescriptions from him anyway... and has assured me he has no intention of being non-competitive with the direct pricing (but as I say... will find out for sure next week).

    Plan will always be to order at least four from him to make it worth his while - which means a bit of keen budgeting to be able to afford that - but it has been worth it so far.
     
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  2. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Moderator
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    Ok, so where I live on the South Coast isn't exactly rural anymore but neither is it a city. All the small pharmacies attached to doctor's surgeries are branches of Lloyds around these parts so there is no option - I will be intrigued to know if your pharmacist can negotiate a good price with Abbott that competes with the big boys. I might test my local supermarkets and see if the pharmacies at Sainsbury or Tesco have any plans to supply the Libre - would be quite handy to be able to pick it up with the shopping!

    I saw on Facebook, that somebody challenged Abbott about the price of sensors to the NHS being around £30 and their spokesperson responded saying that there are currently no plans to lower the price to Joe Public. Great!

    I myself have also been thinking about the legal contract between Joe Public and the pharmacist. The first question I got asked when I phoned Abbot about a dud sensor was 'did you buy it through the Abbott website?" So if a sensor that your local pharmacist has supplied turns out to be a dud, will Abbott replace it as they do now or will they tell you to take it back to the place you purchased it from? Might be worth asking.
     
  3. RFSMarch

    RFSMarch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I have to admit I am surprised he hasn’t asked the price... so this might all come to nowt next Wednesday when I pop in. I don’t think he can negotiate the price with Abbots. What he can do is add VAT and then *I* have to ensure he has a form so he can claim it back and get him to reduce it, and as far as I understand it Abbots have said that all replacement queries are met by them...but give how appalling inconsistent their customer service is... it is anyone’s guess how that is going to work.
     
  4. RFSMarch

    RFSMarch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    OK so... I popped down to the pharmacy - who had been fobbed off by Abbot about the first order taking time to set up and that it would take 5 days for them to supply my pharmacy. My pharmacist was not at all impressed - so we have agreed for me to pop back next week and see if they have managed to get there ... 'donkeys' in gear.

    The price to him is £42. I have agreed with him to come armed with my VAT exemption forms.

    Watch this space.
     
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  5. hh1

    hh1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Oh I'll be interested to hear how this goes. Slighty off-topic but I and several others on another thread had real trouble getting sensors from Abbott not long before Christmas. 'Unexpected demand' - excuse me? When it's announced with fanfares and pushed and pushed on Facebook? And I'm underwhelmed by customer service which was no help in giving any idea when my order would arrive; nor today when I got a repeated error message when I tried to log in to Libraview. When I phoned, first of all it was my browser, 'we recommend Google Chrome, can you change?' - er, no! And since nothing had changed on my computer it was interesting that my persistence resulted in the customer adviser talking to the IT department again, this time to come back and tell me that 'the server's overloaded so it's our problem and may take a couple of hours to fix'. Another issue with supply and demand? Sorry, rant over.
     
  6. RFSMarch

    RFSMarch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry about it... I used to get in trouble on the FB group pointing out the deficiencies of Abbots... needless to say the group is awash now with people truly hacked off about delays. And my pharmacist was none too happy to see that his order was also delayed.

    Fingers crossed though that once the order arrives and we get an idea of cost etc I can spread the word - he would be more than happy to take on more customers of Libre I believe!
     
  7. ringi

    ringi Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    No one could have predicted how fast the demand for the libre would grow! Now even Apple has now brought a company that is bringing out a new CGM........
     
  8. RFSMarch

    RFSMarch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    So after chasing, the order arrived the next day. However - can you believe twice in a row now I have had blistewrs form at the edge of the compeed solution I have to use to be able to tolerate the sensors. I am fast running out of limbs to use them on as my left arm is scabbed over (healing but slowly) and now I am Mepored up to the nines on my thigh. At least THIS time I got to it before the blister got as bad as it did on my arm.

    In the FB book I belong to, they allowed someone from a firm that provides silicon barriers for this kind of irritation to advertise, so I have applied for some samples.

    In another FB I belong to which focuses on the skin irritations some suffer, someone suggested getting an asthma inhaler and pressing that against the skin. To my immense surprise I managed to get Saturday appointment... but that in itself was a trial!

    Me: Is there any chance of an appointment sometime today?
    Receppy: Shakes head, then says "I might be able to fit you in RIGHT AT THE END (surgery closes at 12pm)
    Me: I'll take it...
    Receppy: I will put you in at 10:45 (Me... eh?)
    Receppy: Actually if you can come in at 10:30 you might get seen a few minutes earlier...
    Me: I will take it... with bells on!

    Anyhoo... I took the FB post with the suggestion of using a steroid inhaler against the skin. GP understood the reasoning behind it as a cream would make the sensor/compeed combo just not stick... and to my immense surprise he not only prescribed me a steroid inhaler, he also prescribed a stronger strength nasal spray!

    Pharmacists understandably confused by this... but also as with GP suitable keen to see if this works!

    Also... this GP knew about Libre, knew it is up for discussion in Surrey, agreed there would be no help for someone like me self-funding and using metformin, was understanding about my dropping down to 1x500mg a day at the moment because it backs me up solid, was encouraging about being as proactive as possible, and was impressed with my drop initially, advised me to try and stick to my current LCHF plans this month before the US, and agreed it would be best to get the bloods done before I go to the land of deep-fried horrors! I think when I get my results - I might ask for this GP as the other one just tells me I am wasting my money self-testing, and to basically toddle off and keep taking the tablets.

    Anyway - if anyone is in the area, Pharmacare in Ham can obtain and sell the sensors at £48 - until he trains up the other pharmacists best aim for when the owner is in on a Weds and Thurs and deal with him directly - if that can help anyone struggling.
     
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  9. hh1

    hh1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Good luck! I have very very dry skin, prone to dermatitis (there's a neat catch-all!) but I've been lucky with my sensors in that they haven't caused any issues. My biggest problem is keeping the **** things on - I'm now using Tegaderm which is great, but it starts to peel after a week and I end up cutting off the edges and sticking a new one over the top! The price of CGM isn't just financial ;)
     
  10. RFSMarch

    RFSMarch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I am a tegaderm girl too but I wonder whether that has been the issue with the last two blisters and the general itchiness at the edges of the compeed when I take them off. Going to try this silicon barrier probably on my right arm at this rate. The rep wants me to try it on the skin. I am... a little fearful, not gonna lie, but the aim of the product is to provide a silicon barrier between the sensor adhesive and the skin so... I suppose I ought to give it a try.

    If this doesn't work, then I am out of ideas other than only use one sensor a month and allow the skin to heal in the middle
     
  11. Omnipod

    Omnipod Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I think the focus needs to shift to Abbott because they are making huge profits from the public. They are making the most profit from us yet they F+*Ck us over by supplying the pharmacists and NHS in bulk who buy it at a much lower price. We pay upfront and still wait 3 weeks for stock to arrive and for delivery. Last week my order turned to dispatched on their system. I then followed this up as Id been waiting almost a week. Abbott sent a dpd tracking number. According to DPD, the item had not even arrived at their depot - almost a week after Abbott saying it was dispatched.
    Im just so tired of all their lies and stock issues. Luckily I managed to get a script last week via my gp and the pharmacist contacted me to say the sensors were on order. Since starting on the FL over 2 years ago, its been consistently stop, start, stop start all the way till now. One would think that if its because of demand, that they would meet their demand before opening it up to the world. I am giving Abbott a couple of months and if their issues are not sorted then I am switching to Dexcom.
     
  12. RFSMarch

    RFSMarch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    And in fairness - if my T2 was insulin dependent, I would switch also. As someone said (brilliantly) in the FB group - this is a three-masted ocean-going omnishambles (ok I combined two there!) but apart from the one time I go to speak directly to someone in Head Office, who assured me:
    1) The stock issues were resolved
    2) The short dates were resolved
    3) They were going to do much better
    they went promptly into another stock disaster and to be honest I have run out of fingers now to count out how long they have been stating an issue with direct delivery.

    None of the above have been true.

    They are going to find themselves in some serious trouble as soon as any other competitor comes on the scene.
     
  13. Zyroman

    Zyroman Parent · Member

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    We have voted with our feet and switched to the Dexcom G5. Only had it three days but so far we are very impressed. We have self funded Libre for two years for our son who is now 11. When delivery times extended I contacted Freestyle by email and was told to read the terms and conditions, delivery can take up to 30 days, oh, well that's ok then. I did point out other options were available and was told to go try it then. Dexcom have been great, 2 day FREE delivery from Holland and even replaced the first sensor FOC after I messed up fitting it. My wife doesn't have to get up at night to check him and we can see what is going on when he is at school.
     
    #13 Zyroman, Mar 10, 2018 at 10:13 AM
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
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