Thank you for your email to the Chief Medical Officer regarding the prescribing of liothyronine. She has asked me to reply on the behalf of the Department of Health.
NHS England plans to lead a review of low value prescription items from April 2017 and introduce new guidance for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), with a view to saving NHS expenditure in this area. The guidance will be developed in partnership with CCGs and clinicians. NHS England will publish a consultation on the draft guidance in the next few months. For more information, see NHS England’s website at: england.nhs.uk/2017/03/guid...
Guidance to restrict prescribing of products such as liothyronine would only be introduced after the consultation. In the meantime your doctor is able to prescribe any product, which they consider necessary for your treatment under the National Health Service, as long as that product is not included in Schedules 1 or 2 to the NHS (General Medical Services Contract) Regulations 2004. Liothyronine is not included in those Schedules at present, so you doctor will be able to continue prescribing it.
As part of considering what is appropriate for a patient, we do ask prescribers to take account of the cost but not at the expense of the clinical benefit to their patient. So where the cost of a medication significantly increases it would be reasonable for them to consider whether there is a suitable alternative and make a change if a suitable alternative does exist.