Mum's fury over drug stalemate

A FELIXSTOWE mum is today demanding answers from health bosses who are refusing to prescribe her son the drugs he needs to control his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

A FELIXSTOWE mum is today demanding answers from health bosses who are refusing to prescribe her son the drugs he needs to control his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Janet Knight's 18-year-old son, Matthew is being kept in limbo as she claims consultants and GPs keep passing the buck over prescribing the relatively new drug, Strattera.

For the last eight months Matthew has been keeping his condition under control with the drug, but doctors now seem unable to agree who should prescribe it, leaving the teenager without a new prescription.

At the end of last year, The Evening Star revealed Mrs Knight's anger when Strattera, which had been available without problems was reclassified as "red" meaning it could only be prescribed by clinicians instead of GPs, because it was such a new drug.

But by July Matthew's consultant at St Clement's Hospital said the drug had been downgraded to "amber" and could now be prescribed by their GP.

However the situation has now reached a stalemate with his GP still refusing to prescribe it.

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Mrs Knight said: "I am still no closer to getting it and Matthew is running low.

"He's managing to hold down a good job as an engineer at the Port of Felixstowe but without this drug he will not be able to work.

"I am not going to have these people destroy his life."

Mrs Knight wrote to Central Surgery in Felixstowe to express her concern and has received a response, which states that none of the GPs there will prescribe Strattera without being instructed by a consultant, because they have little knowledge of the drug.

St Clement's have agreed to give Matthew a prescription for two weeks worth of the drug to tide him over, but his consultant has said he cannot see him just to give him new prescriptions.

Mrs Knight said: "Everyone is passing the buck and I don't know where it stops. We are going round in circles and I can't get straight answers from anybody."

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for the east Suffolk Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) - who fund GPs' work, said: "When a drug is classified as amber it means that, while the GPs are able to prescribe it there's no requirement that they have to prescribe it.

"They can say they would feel more comfortable with a consultant prescribing it.

"Clearly, what's happened here is not helpful to the family concerned. What we need to do is make sure that he receives the medication he needs."

No-one from Suffolk Mental Health Partnership was available for comment.

Have you had trouble getting hold of Strattera for your child? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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