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Posted by Simon ( on July 20, 2000 at 21:33:28:

In Reply to: Thanks, Annemarie posted by Simon on July 20, 2000 at 20:56:57:

I've just e-mailed this to the Department of Health address. It will be interesting to see how quickly they get back to me!

Dear Sir,

I write as a member of the Board of Directors of OUCH (the Organisation for the Understanding of Cluster Headaches) an international body dedicated to further awareness of, gather and disseminate information about, and work for a cure for this condition.

One of my interests, as one of two board members in the UK, is in the way the NHS handles cases of this condition, particularly with regard to the prescribing of medications. Our experience, gathered from several OUCH members in the UK and many other British contacts through www.clusterheadaches.com (the primary website dealing with the condition) is that this varies considerably. This applies both between Health Authorities, and, it would seem, between GPs within those Authorities.

The particular medications I am currently interested in are:

Medical Oxygen
Sumatriptan (tablet, nasal spray and subcutaneous injection)
Other triptans (eg. Maxalt, Amerge)

I myself receive both Oxygen and injectible sumatriptan with no problem from my own GP (under the general guidance of Professor Peter Goadsby of the National Hospital in Queen's Square, London - possibly the foremost expert in the world in research into, and treatment of, C.H.). Others, I know, are not so fortunate, and I have promised to investigate of their behalf. I will pass on whatever information I can gather to them.

I should be very grateful, therefore, if you could inform me if there are any national guidelines issued by the Department of Health. If this is not in your domain, could you please direct me to the relevant organisation - possibly forwarding this e-mail directly to them.

There is a certain amount of urgency as I should like to be able to present this to the World Conference organised by OUCH, at the beginning of August, and use it in the Awareness Week which immediately follows that. In addition there is a World Symposium in the Neurosciences based in London in September where this issue could be dealt with in the public forums.

Thank you for your help,


Simon Bower (Burton on Trent)


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