Thyroid UK
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Liothyronine prescribing rates - other countries

diogenes helpfully calculated that about 10,000 UK patients receive liothyronine - 0.7% of those who are hypothyroid.

This is a depressingly low figure. It set me to wondering what the prescribing rates are in those countries with high quality locally manufactured liothyronine. Obvious examples would include Germany, France and Greece.

Does ready access at a sensible price, together with differently trained endocrinologists make a big difference? Or are the rates similarly low everywhere?

I think we have to include T4 + T3 combination products - they are just a convenient way of getting some T3 along with T4. We in the UK do not have any such products - which is why this comment seemed important.

I am not bad at web searching but sometimes trying to work out precisely what is meant in a foreign language isn't easy.

4 Replies

The NHSCC have included the following in their review of medicines which should henceforth be a low priority for the nhs including (my edit )

Products which are clinically effective but where more cost-effective products are available (£58.69m) – this includes products that have been subject to excessive price inflation.

Liothyronine (£30.93m) – Used for underactive thyroid. High cost and limited evidence. Vast majority of patients controlled on much cheaper Levothyroxine.

There will be a need for flexibility in any local decision making to allow for individual patient needs to be taken in to consideration.

28 March 2017

whole nine despicable yards here

Is Thyroid UK doing anything about this ? lynmynott ? It's not the vast majority of patients ! 👿


Hi I was looking at list of things they want to cut and I felt hopeful that it won't come to liothyronine being removed from NHS prescriptions as other the list contained differing levels of necessary items. Like travel vaccinations for instance. Maybe I am being ignorant here but if they are for a holiday then that's a life choice. The range of Gluten free food available on prescription ( I am gluten free) is not a necessity to stay alive either. I pay for my gf bread. But also no one should eat biscuits or cake. And no one needs bread. As in diabetics don't get diabetic chocolate on prescription. I sound mean I know and I am on poverty line so I do understand that gf bread is too pricey etc.

However without liothyronine I speak for many people obviously that we will all be in a communal coma within weeks.

Hence my hope that liothyronine will have to be removed from this mismatched list


Yes, I fervently hope.

Am certainly not going to hold my breath, though.


It would be an interesting study. I hope it is feasible and look forward to the results. It is all such a sorry state of affairs in the UK as treatment options are reduced to T4 full stop.


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