In August 2018, our group launched a federal petition to the Government of Canada.
Although most aspects of health care are provincial, we addressed Health Canada about our concerns that fell within their federal jurisdiction, such as prescription drugs and equitable access to health care across provinces. See the Canada Health Act.
All federal petitions require an MP to sponsor them. Conservative MP Diane Finley of Haldimand-Norfolk, Ontario, sponsored our petition. She has publicly declared that she is a patient of Graves’ disease (autoimmune hyperthyroidism).
Between the three months permitted, August 27 and December 25, 2018, we collected e-signatures on the Government of Canada’s official petition website.
PETITION TO THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA
- The government needs to protect equitable access, supply and a fair marketplace for the full range of thyroid hormone pharmaceuticals, not only the synthetic T4 and T3 used since the 1950s, but also animal-derived hormone extract in medical use since the 1800s and approved by Health Canada;
- In monitoring, our patients’ health depends on moving beyond a single test, the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Unsatisfactory responses to thyroid medication have often been dismissed as unrelated to thyroid parameters whenever the TSH is in normal range, but we now know that under a normal TSH can hide suboptimal levels of T3, the form of thyroid hormone that has genomic activity in every cell. Subtle reductions in T3 thyroid hormone can worsen conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, mental illness, obesity and osteoporosis; and
- Doctors require more education on various medication options and professional freedom to choose tests and treatments for an individual patient’s needs. It is also time to review the product monographs for all thyroid medications in Canada to reflect recent research.
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to protect the health of citizens on lifelong therapy for hypothyroidism by protecting equitable access to all thyroid drugs approved by Health Canada and by ensuring that doctors receive more education on various medication options and professional freedom to choose tests and treatments for an individual patient’s needs.
Within only two days, we met the minimum number of signatures (500) needed to bring it to the attention of Parliament.
- By the December 25, 2018 deadline, we reached 5,681 e-signatures. See our announcement.
- The government then checked whether e-signatures were from Canadian citizens and the number went down slightly to 5,644.
- On January 28, 2019, MP Diane Finley presented our petition to parliament. See our announcement and response.
- Our response to the government’s reply: Canadian government responds to Thyroid Petition e-1819
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