Yes please do it - good idea!
The article was by Jessica Duncan and Martin Robinson for MailOnline
I have lifted the following really good information from one of the comment contributors for this article:
Example: Liothyronine 20 microgram tablets (Thyroid hormone also known as T3, formerly Tertroxin)
A few years ago this was sold as Goldshield Tertroxin at around £12 for 28 tablets. After name and ownership changes (-> Mercury -> Amdipharm -> Concordia), it is now £258 for the self-same tablets - but now sold as a generic. The Patient Information Leaflet still includes the name Tertroxin! (I think it still reaches the market in some countries as Tertroxin.)
There is competition in the world market with Sanofi making similar products in Germany (former Henning) and France, Uni-Pharma in Greece, Abdi Ibrahim in Turkey, Pfizer, Sigmapharm, Perrigo and Mylan in the USA, and others. The prices are astonishingly different - less than two euros in Greece and similar in Turkey.
Unlike some medicines, there is no possibility of switching to another medicine. If all you need is the other thyroid hormone medicine (levothyroxine), that is all you would be getting. Liothyronine has long been somewhat deprecated with consultants and GPs often claiming that it has no place in treatment whilst others accept it is an essential medicine.
This massive increase in price has meant that:
Those getting it are having their repeat prescriptions revoked.
Those not getting it are having an even more difficult time finding a doctor willing to prescribe.
Those getting insufficient are failing to get a dose increase. (Patients might need anything from about 5 to 150 micrograms a day with typical doses being 20 to 60.)
CCGs introducing blanket "no liothyronine" policies and putting it onto a red list.
All this against a background of good science finding liothyronine really is important with the genetic make-up of some people being why they need it. And it is also being used and investigated for non-thyroid medicine such as psychiatry and heart disease.
So we end up with the situation in which a considerable proportion of the NHS patients who need it are actually buying their own from abroad. (Many actually prefer the products they get from abroad. There have been many complaints about the quality of Mercury's liothyronine over the same years in which the price has rocketed.)
This is one place where pan-European medicine licensing could be of huge benefit. (Or simple recognition of a licence in one country to be valid in another EU member state. Even if optional and on a medicine by medicine basis.) If the pharmacies of the UK could simply source from Greece, the battle over the cost of this medicine might be over. Ironically, the cost of liothyronine is lower in Greece than the price of levothyroxine in the UK. And levothyroxine is often held up as a cheap medicine.
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