Thyroid drug to remain available on the NHS

Thyroid drug to remain available on the NHS
From BBC - November 30, 2017

The thyroid drug liothyronine will remain available on the NHS in England, after health bosses reconsidered a proposal to restrict access.

Liothyronine (T3) is taken by patients with an underactive thyroid, although most take a cheaper drug called T4.

But the NHS England board said T3 should be prescribed by consultant endocrinologists, rather than GPs.

Patient representatives welcomed the move - but one specialist warned it was simply moving demand.

'Lack of evidence'

NHS England received around 5,800 responses during its consultation on its proposals to restrict access to "low value" medicines.

But in a board paper, it said liothyronine should be available.

"The main recurring theme - particularly from patients and organisational bodies - is that this is an effective treatment which can, in appropriate circumstances contribute to patient wellbeing, quality of life and condition management."

A spokeswoman for the British Thyroid Foundation, which represents patients, welcomed the decision.

"We are pleased they have listened to the many patients and professional organisations who provided convincing information that there are thyroid patients for whom this medicine makes a huge difference.

"The uncertainty around this issue has caused confusion and distress and we hope that the guidance will lead to an improvement in care for patients with hypothyroidism."



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