Only enough for half the population

April 28th, 2009 § 2 comments

Armageddon is on it’s way. We are all doomed

How dangerous is it?

Symptoms of swine flu in humans appear to be similar to those produced by standard, seasonal flu.

These include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, chills and fatigue.

Most cases so far reported around the world appear to be mild, but in Mexico lives have been lost

You see, lives are being lost and a couple of people here in Britain might have it too!

The Daily Mail, is of course trying to calm it’s readers down and reassure them that life, as we know it, will go on. Or maybe not. lets have a look

Private health firms have seen a surge in sales of anti-viral drugs folowing (sic) concerns that the Health Service would be unable to meet demand if a swine flu pandemic broke out.

Well, that’s the first box ticked. The NHS may not be able to cope. I wondered who’s concerned? It’s a pity we’re not told.

One company told the Daily Mail it had sold Tamiflu to 25,000 customers in one day, a further sign that swine flu panic is spreading

25,000? That’s a good days business by anyone standards. Surely the panic can’t be fuelled by our drama-queen press, though. Can it?

The firm, Healthcare Connections, said individuals were getting in touch because they did not believe they would be able to get the powerful drugs from the health service if there was a mass outbreak.

And we’re back to knocking the NHS. Why would people think that? Has the NHS suddenly become a haorder, unable to let go of anything?

The NHS has more than 33million doses of antiviral drugs – enough for more than half of the population – but there are fears the NHS would not have the capacity to get them to those who might need them.

The NHS unable to get drugs to the general population? Who fears it? Why do ‘they’ fear it? Have ‘they’ forgotten about the hundreds, if not thousands of pharmacies in the UK? This drug is a pill, it needs no special skills to actually administer the thing, unlike an injection.

Current plans are for those with symptoms to nominate a friend or relative without symptoms to pick up Tamiflu packs (pictured) from local NHS despatching centres, probably hospitals and clinics.

And pharmacies, maybe? They are the usual route for drugs to be dispensed (or is it called despatching now?) to non-hospitalised patients.
I love this next bit…

But there could be queues of thousands.

Isn’t it great? Everyone in your town, queued up at the same time, for the chemist. The line winding its’ way around the town. No cars on the road and everything else closed because everyone’s queued up to get they’re antidote to the biggest threat to mankind since, ooh, bird flu.

Healthcare Connections sidesteps this problem by dispatching the drugs to the customer’s front door when they are needed.

Thank goodness someones on the ball. Healthcare Connections are the only ones quoted in this Mail story. Would it be cynical of me to suggest this may be turning into an ‘infomercial’?

Louise Lloyd, from the company, said: ‘We make sure there are some of these drugs in the warehouse with your name on it. If there is a pandemic, and a medical adviser will confirm you need them, a car will be sent over with your drugs.

‘The Government does not have the infrastructure to do this.’

No. It wouldn’t be cynical.
Ok, Ms Lloyd. I probabably couldn’t argue against that point, But then the government deals in a slightly different magnitude of customers.
The government ‘only’ has enough of this drug for half the population and if it sent all those drugs out by car, which I doubt you do, as for £3.50 it’ll more than likely be a van on his rounds rather than a dedicated car as you make it sound, people like the Daily Mails’ readers, and of course the Taxpayers Alliance, would be apoplectic about a waste of money when all but the most isolated people (as in loneliest) can find someone to pop to the shops for them.
How many people can you supply? Not 30-fucking-million. And you can send them however you want without anyone complaining because your customer is paying for it [from Healthcare Connections main site]…

You can purchase the Antiviral Protection Plan for just £11.99* per person per year.

So, that’s more than a prescription on the NHS already, which is £7.20.
Still doesn’t sound too bad, does it. £11.99 and you’ve got a dose guaranteed allocated to you., rather than the virtually, pretty much guaranteed for you on the NHS. But if you actually get a bout of the swine flu, it gets a bit more expensive going private…

The table below shows how an upgrade to the full plan cost is broken down; to illustrate where the costs are allocated.
Healthcare Connections will only charge you for your private doctor to patient consultation, private prescription and distribution when you need access to medication.

Antiviral drug cost from manufacturer……………… £16.36
DHL medical despatch secure delivery service……. £ 3.50
Doctor to patient web consultation………………… £18.55
Private prescription/dispensary…………………….. £10.59
Total……………………………………………………. £49.00
Plus VAT @15%

£11.99/year just in case and then £49 when then poo hits the propellor. Plus VAT, it ends up just over £70 to your door.
And for £7.20 and a bit of sweet talking the Missus, I have the same result.

I think that’s a win for the NHS, for a change, despite how The Mail spins it.

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