26th November 2018
A widespread failure of local NHS bodies to consistently follow national guidelines on the prescribing of a thyroid drug is causing harm to patients, says a significant new report published today. The report shows that liothyronine, a drug used in the treatment of underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), is not being routinely provided across the country to the people who need it. Read the full dossier here: bit.ly/LiothyronineDossier2018
The evidence gathered shows that vulnerable people have ended up with depression, diabetes, heart problems, weight gain, high cholesterol and exhaustion from having this drug either taken away or not prescribed in the first place. The case studies also show people being unable to work and trying to find ways of funding the drug privately.
This is all despite NHS England approved guidance from last year stating that liothyronine should be provided to those who really need it.
The report, which was requested by the Department of Health, has been produced by a consortium of thyroid patient organisations, with guidance from the British Thyroid Association – the UK’s body for thyroid specialists.
The organisations received over 400 patients’ stories that showed how local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups are not following the national NHS England approved guidance.
Patients who have had liothyronine withdrawn said,
“Like thousands of other UK patients, I cannot have a prescription for T3 from my GP or my endocrinologist. I am left in a frightening place.”
“Life without liothyronine for me is no life at all.”
“I feel completely abandoned by the National Health Service.”
Media coverage listed here.
If you'd like to tell your story to a journalist - or to have it on file for possible review by researchers or policy makers, or to help other patients - you can do that here.
If you'd like to write to your MP we have a template letter here that you can use.
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