Shortly before Easter 2018, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, tweeted that he will instigate a debate in the House of Lords about the issues some patients are experiencing accessing the drug liothyronine, also known as T3. Lord Borwick of Hawkshead, patron of The Thyroid Trust and also The British Thyroid Foundation, will also speak in this debate.
We welcome this news and have been preparing accordingly.
The date for the House of Lords debate has now been confirmed as 20th June.
In the meantime Sir Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, led an Adjournment debate on Hypothyroidism in the House of Commons on 21st May. We believe this is a further very positive step and congratulate those campaigners who have worked hard to bring about both of these debates.
Sir Vince gave a strong speech on behalf of those patients with hypothyroidism who are being denied liothyronine, which was comprehensively responded to by Minister Steven Brice, who acknowledged both that liothyronine is recognised as being able to help some patients for whom levothyroxine alone does not work and also the scale of the issue. He confirmed that NHS core principle is to provide treatment free at the point of need and that medication which patients require should not be withheld. We think it was significant that he said he would look into the possibility of buying in liothyronine from overseas so that it is not so costly for the NHS to provide. He also stated that the upcoming NICE guidelines should clarify matters when they are completed and that treatment path for when liothyronine may be appropriate is one of the issues being looked at by the NICE committee producing the guidelines .
We were pleased that Sir Vince quoted Dr Anthony Toft - as an authoritative and reliable source. We also quote Dr Toft in our briefings, which he has very kindly advised us on - and he is due to speak at our event in November. The recent issues with Levothyrox in France were also mentioned as an example of how finely tuned thyroid disorders can sometimes be.
Here is the link to the Hansard report and you can watch the video below.
We aim to leverage the debates as an opportunity to stimulate wider public discussion about both the importance of the availability of T3 for those who need it and the management of hypothyroidism more generally.
You can read our House of Lords briefing document 8. Last updated 18/6/18 Our House of Commons briefing document is here. Published 17/5/18.
We suggest that if you have a stake in this debate you may like to send a Thyroid Trust briefing document to your own MP along with any details of your own experiences that you wish to raise with them - either regarding liothyronine or hypothyroidism care more generally. We will be pleased to hear of any contact you have with your MP that you may like to tell us about.
Page published 3/5/18. Last updated 18/6/18.
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