A WOMAN who was denied a vital drug to treat her thyroid disorder, has thanked the Echo after medics performed a U-turn on the issue.

Christine Papalabropoulos was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid in March last year.

She was initially prescribed levothyroxine – T4, the drug most commonly prescribed for the condition, but this proved ineffective for her and it was decided she needed liothyronine, or T3, but she was denied it over a nationwide block because of its cost.

The 63-year-old, of Harris Close, Wickford, was one of many such patients being denied the drug because its cost has risen from 19p a tablet to £9 thanks to a supplier monopoly.

Now, a consultant has agreed to allow her to have the drug for a three-month NHS-funded trial and her GP has promised to continue prescribing it once the trial is over.

An overjoyed Mr Papalabropoulos, who cares for her daughter, Vikki, who has learning difficulties, said: “My GP said if an endocrinologist would prescribe liothyronine for three months, he would continue to prescribe it on the NHS.

“In the end it was a general consultant who prescribed it, but the GP said he would still carry it on.

“I’ve been given a low dose which I think will need to be increased. I feel much better in the mornings, but I get tired by lunch time. If it’s increased a bit, that will give me a good quality of life.”

Mrs Papalabropoulos added: “It’s great news for me, but the problem still continues.

“I’d like to thank the Echo for raising a very important issue because Mark Francois, John Baron and Sir David Amess all took up this up in Parliament and with the CCGs.

“Without the Echo campaigning, we would not be where we are now and I’m very grateful.”

The Echo also highlighted the case of Sue Murray who suffered a severe reaction after taking thyroxine, T4, for her underactive thyroid for years.

The 54-year-old, a former nurse of 35 years, had her thyroid gland removed due to cancer.

She is still fighting to get the drug.