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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5O-00594: Elaine Smith (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 18 January 2017

To ask the Scottish Government how many people with thyroid problems are not responding well to treatment with levothyroxine and what its position is on clinical decisions by endocrinologists to prescribe liothyronine to these patients.

Answered by: Shona Robison 25 January 2017

The decisions by endocrinologists on whether or not to prescribe a particular therapeutic is entirely a matter for that clinician, based on an assessment they have made of the patient’s condition and the benefits and expected outcomes of prescribing a particular drug for that patient.

It should be highlighted that there is currently insufficient clinical evidence of the clinical and cost effectiveness to support the use of liothyronine (either alone or in combination) for the treatment of hypothyroidism. Thyroxine replacement therapy is essential in the treatment of hypothyroidism, with this usually being prescribed as levothyroxine.