The BBC are running an article on their website about medicine and drugs that are non vegetarian which should have better labelling.
This is a big issue as many patients do not know what they are taking:-
From the BBC
A survey in the Postgraduate Medical Journal shows a quarter of patients are unknowingly prescribed drugs containing gelatin contrary to their beliefs. The report authors say clearer drug labelling is needed.
I find it astonishing that these ingredients are being used in our multi cultural society, of which a large proportion are vegetarian and/or have religious beliefs.
The good news is that the BBC say:-
“There is a general trend for manufacturers to move away from the use of animal derivatives in medicines but there remain occasions where the nature of the product, or quality or safety issues, preclude the effective use of non-animal-derived ingredients.”
I do not know how I would feel if faced with a life threatening illness and only being offered pills that go against my choice of being a vegan. I have in the past had to have iron tablets from my GP, however i did check the ingredients and they were not suitable for vegans. I talked this over with the doctor, and because Iron can be bought in a vegan tablet version as a supplement I decided to buy them for myself. I could not however get this vegan version on prescription.
We need to let our doctors and the drug companies know that we want veggie medication and there is no need for gelatin or animal derived ingredients, there is always an alternative. Veggie caps are a great alternative to capsules made of gelatin.
Here is a link to the BBC news article Many Drugs not Vegetarian