Thanks for saving a life – a letter to Medisafe

Dear Medisafe,

My wife, Helen is going through a cancer treatment and just the sheer amount of medication is mind boggling. Your App helps us keep track of all the doses, types and times. So thank you for that.

I wanted to share a life-saving story:

Helen was prescribed a steroid for her cancer treatment amongst a whole lot of other drugs. While we were at the hospital, she asked if she should continue taking a cholesterol medication. Her doctor said yes.

At home that evening I was entering all the drugs into your app. Helen’s stepfather Mike came over to see what I was doing. He was taking his own medication at the time and asked what the app said about it.


Mike (L), Richard and Helen (R)


When I checked what he was prescribed, I was astonished to see it was the same steroid as Helen had just been prescribed that morning. I asked him why he was taking it. He told me it was for cholesterol…

I looked the drug up, no use listed for cholesterol. I got him to make an emergency appointment at the doctor’s in the morning. When he came back from the doctors, he was very upset, the doctor had never prescribed him this drug. The pharmacist had given him the wrong drug and had also given him a three month supply!

As a result:

  • His cholesterol was very high because he was on the wrong drug
  • The dose 20mg of this steroid is extremely dangerous taken long term.  It causes your organs to shut down, weight gain, exhaustion etc.
  • He had been taking it for nearly three months and the doctor told him if he had continued for another week, he would have died from organ failure. If he had just gone for a new prescription for his cholesterol medication and just started taking this normal prescribed medication he would have severely damaged his organs. You have to reduce the steroid very slowly.
  • He was then put on an 8 week plan to remove the drugs from his system, reducing the amount by 2mg per week, then after 8 weeks he need to have blood tests to see that he was recovering.

So as you see, in a very real way, my downloading your app really did save a life.  It took a few coincidences along the way, but it worked. Mike is 83 years old, and he finds you app fairly easy to use.
A huge thank you to the whole team.

Richard Storer-Adam


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