Price of Liothyronine in the UK

Many of us are aware that GP's and Endo's are unwilling to prescribe T3, and we are also aware that price is certainly a significant factor in this reluctance. I have been in correspondence with the Ministry of Health via my MP regarding the price of Liothyronine prescriptions in the UK, and today received the following information: " the 2015/2016 year, there were 77,200 liothyronine sodium prescription items dispensed, comprising tablets, capsules and liquid specials (?), which prescriptions were written and dispensed in England (only). The net ingredient cost for these dispensed items, that is, the basic price of medicines, not taking account of discounts, dispensing costs, fees or prescription charge income, was £25,165,323."

By my calculation, this equates to £326 per prescription, which is scandalous in the extreme.

I understand that there is only one supplier in this country, yet the Minister also says: "The Government has in place voluntary (?) and statutory schemes to consider the prices of branded and generic medicines as, typically, there is competition between suppliers, which keeps prices down."

If anyone can confirm that there is only one supplier of Liothyronine in the UK, I would be grateful for any information on this. Also if anyone can supply me with definitive prices from other countries for comparison, this would also be useful.

( ) Bracketed items are my additions.



Featured Content

Join our community

The community helps everyone affected by thyroid conditions by providing support, information and guidance.


Featured by HealthUnlocked

15 Replies

  • £25 million????? Unbelievable.

    Well done for contacting your MP to make them aware and hopefully you'll receive the info you need.

  • Hi, Chrys. radd put together a comparison of prices, here

    There has been a lot on here recently about the loophole in the law which has allowed this to happen. Sorry I can't find the links to that at present but I'm sure someone else will be along with that shortly.


    Here's the link to Times investigation

  • This will address it in part. You will need to chase up your MP next year when it is being debated.

  • Thks, yes the Minister mentions the bill in his letter, but this belated action does not address the appalling and unnecessary historical cost to the NHS.

  • every one should bombard their mp tellnewspaper - daiy express online as a GOT A STORY FOR US?AND AN EMAIL ADDRESS IN TH EMIDDLE OF PAGE ONLINE AT THETOP, USE IT.

  • Thanks for all the replies, unfortunately we were away on 3rd June, so although we take The Times, we missed the article. Very interesting indeed, and one is forced to say that had such vast profiteering at the taxpayers expense been evident in a third world country, one could be excused for suspecting corruption in high places. But this is the UK, so it could not possibly be the case.

  • My GP ignored me when I wrote to him a couple of years ago but seems to have a new interest in the NHS so I thought I'd try again and give him a chance to change my opinion of him. Still waiting for a reply ....

  • I'm in Sweden and, at the current rate of exchage, Liothyronine is £20.65 for 100.

  • There is only one UK-licensed liothyronine tablet. (And one injection product from the same company.)

    Other makes can be prescribed and dispensed but it often takes considerable effort to do so - by doctor, dispensary and possibly others.

  • There is no competitive supply of T3 ,Mercury Pharma is the only supplier and milking the NHS claiming difficulty of manufacture and other reasons.

    The NHS takes no action to find a cheaper supply.Makers have to apply to be considered Why they do not is a mystery to me.

    Ministers are well aware ,I was writing to my MP early last year.

  • That's totally outrageous. I've been saying for years that it's the pharmaceutical companies that are exploiting the NHS -- I take it back. It's the "entrepreneurs" with blood on their hands that are exploiters. No wonder I've had problems getting my GP to prescribe T3!

  • I've thought about playing the discrimination card with my GP - because if I was a type 2 diabetic, a smoker or drug addict the NHS would be throwing money at me!

  • The story goes even deeper! I have tried to change the T3 I am prescribed as its simply not working for me any more and is becoming increasingly poor quality as well as ridiculously priced. Its taken a lot of persuading my Gp to prescribe Cytomel instead but when I took it to the chemist one could not get it, another eventually found a price and it seems that the wholesalers have agreed a HUGE price with the NHS and its even more expensive than British T3! How they can charge almost double the cost of the British T3 to the NHS is just criminal considering the cost OTC in USA. Whilst I dont pay for prescriptions, morally its just wrong to expect the NHS to pay these prices. At the moment I buy some Greek T3 and I think I shall look at buying some Cytomel privately. At least then I will be getting the good quality T3 rather than the rubbish British T3.


  • I eventually got my Endocrinologist to prescribe T3 and started to get it on prescription. I got 5mg tablets but next time I got 10mg tablets to cut in half they are tiny so difficult. The doctor explained they were almost twice the price. If I cut them in half it only cost £250 ! I have a friend in Germany who could get them much cheaper. My GP agreed to a private prescription which I send to Germany and the cost for 6 months supply is €50 about £44. The NHS needs to be allowed to source within Europe.

    Ps I feel so much better now than thyroxine alone.

You may also like...