A nurse who had her cancerous thyroid gland removed has joined a fight to receive a vital drug which she is being denied.

Sister Sue Murray, a nurse practitioner at the Swanwood Partnership surgery in Wickford, suffered a severe reaction after taking thyroxine, T4, for her underactive thyroid.

After taking the drug without problems for several years, the 54-year-old began to experience extreme fatigue, hair loss and painful joints. She was prescribed Liothyronine, T3 and her symptoms disappeared.

Following removal of her thyroid gland due to cancer, doctors once again prescribed T4, but she again experienced problems and has been told her cancer could return if her condition isn’t controlled.

The drug, which once cost just 19p is now £9 per tablet and has been put on a blacklist of drugs. This has meant GPs and hospitals are not able to prescribe to new patients and only endocrinologists can prescribe it in limited circumstances.

Mrs Murray, from Wickford, who received specialist training to manage and monitor ongoing chronic conditions and ran two minor emergency clinics at the surgery, said: “My specialist told me “your blood will be on their hands when the cancer comes back, he’s told me to buy the drug I need online.”

“My GP has said that as T3 is now on the medicines management red list she cannot prescribe anymore. She has spoken to my endocrinologist Dr Rehman Khan and tells me Basildon Hospital management have said that T3 must be stopped and T4 started for a trial period to prove on an individual basis that the patient needs T3.

“I am still waiting for confirmation of this from Dr Khan. After trialling this before with severe reactions, how they can inflict harm? you wouldn’t give someone allergic to penicillin the drug they react to - just to see? Surely that goes against the Hippocratic Oath?”

Mrs Murray, who is off sick from work and having to ration the drug she has left, added: “The side effects of me now having to cut down my T3 to 40mcg daily to stretch my meds is that my osteoporosis is worse.

“I’m back under the cardiac team for symptoms of atrial fibrillation and Ive had to leave my job in primary care where I was a nurse practitioner - due to memory fogging and exhaustion.”

The Echo revealed earlier this year Christine Papalabropoulos, 62, also from Wickford, had similar problems and is now buying her own medicine online.

Dr Tayyab Haider, medical director for Basildon Hospital said: “Following the publication of national guidelines from NHS England, there has been a review of the status of Liothyronine. Within the guidelines it’s deemed Liothyronine is of clinical value to a small group of patients and prescribing is limited to consultant endocrine physicians. Based on this primary care should no longer prescribe Liothyronine. Basildon Hospital will prescribe Liothyronine to existing patients, if it is deemed appropriate.”