A BENFLEET pensioner has been forced pay for vital prescription medicine with his chemist out of stock and no date in sight for when it will return.
Peter Keaney, 79, relies on Dioralyte to hydrate his body and replace vitamins and water in his body after losing the lower half of his bowel to cancer.
He was diagnosed with bowel cancer aged 49, which was successfully treated, but sadly, six years’ ago the cancer resurfaced, and his lower bowel had to be removed in a life-saving operation.
Ever since that operation, Mr Keaney has relied on Dioralyte to keep his body hydrated, which he received for free on prescription every month, without problem, from Cross Chemist in London Road.
However, in the last three months the chemist has been out of stock, with staff unable to provide a date for when to expect delivery of the medicine.
“I have been told by staff at the chemist it is a supply problem, but that is as much detail as I get told,” Mr Keaney said.
“I want to know how long it’s going to be before it’s back in stock, but nobody seems to know.”
He added: “I don’t absorb vitamins or food for very long, it just passes through, so this Dioralyte is extremely important as it puts all the vitamins back into my system. Without it I get dehydrated within two or three days, so it is really important to me.”
The 79-year-old says the financial strain of paying for the medicine, costing almost 14 per cent of his monthly pension income, is taking a toll.
He said: “I’m on my basic state pension, so I get £160 a week, and, as everyone will be able to relate to, my gas bill has gone up £35 a month. I now also have an additional £88 a month to buy this wretched medicine online.
“It may not just be me suffering here, there must be loads of people who are finding themselves in a similar situation.”
Cross Chemist confirmed Dioralyte was out of stock but could not provide a date for when it would be restocked.