Swine flu helpline fiasco

  TopCat® 15:10 28 Jul 2009

I couldn't believe what I was hearing on the Jeremy Vine programme this lunchtime. Apparently people are going to extreme lengths to fraudulently obtain the code for a supply of the treatment drugs.

One male came on air and said that he spent most of the day giving over false details each time in order to get the codes. He then calmly went on to say he sold the drugs obtained online for £20 a pack! Many others seem to have no difficulty in obtaining these drugs, not necessarily for personal use, but to sell on or send round the world to friends.

I think this attitude is downright deplorable. Why on earth wasn't a caller's national health service number included and checked against a government database? Surely that would have helped in stopping this fraud, or at least some of it? TC.

  johndrew 17:02 28 Jul 2009

Are you really surprised?

If there is an opportunity for someone to `obtain` a premium item free (or at the expense of those of us that pay UK tax and/or NI) then the less than honest will take it.

Already `visitors` to this country are claiming it as a free `goodie` to take home with them and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that others are sending it to friends/relatives elsewhere in the world. So why not those who will commit the fraud to sell it at a car boot sale.

Our `leaders` seem to have forgotten the reasons for such medicines being on prescription and competently controlled. Yet another fine mess for someone else to clear up when Tamiflu is really needed there wont be any. Oh I forgot; that doesn`t matter they`ve already got their supply!!!!!

  GANDALF <|:-)> 17:15 28 Jul 2009

2 paracetamol and a stiff whisky are usually all that I need for the few times that flu has attacked.


  Colin 19:00 28 Jul 2009

The real fiasco is setting up a help line in the first place. It's just to pacify the simple minded, just like the government's response to mad cow disease.

  SB23 20:06 28 Jul 2009

I agree that its pathetic that people would lie to get Tamiflu, but doesn't it only treat the symptoms anyway, and not the bug itself? (I read it somewhere).

Like "G", I'll be on the whiskey and paracetamol.

  Stuartli 22:55 28 Jul 2009

Found out today that our young, fit next door neighbour (he's a landscape gardener) has had swine flu (genuine) since last Friday, along with the unpleasant side effects.

At times, he told the other half, he can barely haul himself out of bed or a chair - frustrating for someone who has never shirked hard physical work at any time.

  Forum Editor 23:16 28 Jul 2009

is that anyone involved in setting up this helpline was stupid enough to think for even a millisecond that people wouldn't immediately seize the opportunity to abuse the system.

I remember hearing a government spokesperson saying - just days before the scheme launched - that the government 'hoped that people would not abuse the service'. I marvelled at the naivety of anyone who could say such a thing. It was obvious to anyone with half a brain that great hordes of selfish,grasping,nonentities would lie and cheat their way to a supply of Tamiflu. Nothing changes.

  spuds 00:52 29 Jul 2009

It must be bad. One of our local GP surgeries have a notice on the door, informing people who think that they have the flu, must go home and phone NHS Direct or the new helpline, alternatively 'use the side entrance door-knock and wait'.

  BT 08:05 29 Jul 2009

I was speaking to my Sister on Saturday and she said that her Doctors surgery had had instructions from the Health Authority to do this, which is the widely advertised advice. She also said that they had been told to remove all the magazines, childrens toys etc. from the waiting room areas to minimise risk of contamination.
I was at my surgery on Monday and apart from the notice about calling NHS direct, magazines, toys etc. were still in place, and the receptionist said that they knew nothing about removing the magazines etc.
Seems to me that some places are making up their own rules.

As to the people trying to get the Tamiflu, the fact that the website had 9 million hits as soon as it was launched shows that many people are panicking and trying to get it 'Just in Case'. Lets face it, its generally a mild infection in most people,and Tamiflu won't cure it as such. Many, many more people die of ordinary Influenza every year and we don't even hear about that.
And how many people take a couple of days off work with the 'Flu' when all they have is a bit of a cold. If you really have 'flu you will know about it as Stuartli said about his neighbour.

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