I went to see my M.P. on Saturday. It’s one of the most worthwhile things I have ever done. I told him about Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) and how it has changed my life. I not only explained how cheap and effective it is, but highlighted the challenges of patients being able to get it prescribed on the NHS as an ‘off label’ treatment.
My MP had never heard of LDN, or the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) which is meeting at the Houses of Parliament on Wed 26th Feb and he was genuinely interested. He said he would speak to Nia Griffith, the MP promoting the APPG, and he really understood why we need this APPG to succeed.
I have tried many other tactics to get LDN more accepted into mainstream medicine. I was a GP before my illness, (I have CFS/ME) so I’ve contacted doctors I knew from when I was well and able to work. I have also spoken to a number of hospital consultants who listen politely, congratulate me on finding a treatment that works for me; but if I suggest they try LDN on their patients, their faces suddenly change. Oh no – not on my patients! GP’s have very valid concerns about prescribing anything “off-license” – i.e. anything not already authorised in the drug lists on the NHS.
I myself have been trying to find ways of starting clinical trials on LDN in the UK. I can tell you now – it’s going to take years.
So we have to find another way. And I really believe the LDN APPG could provide that. With political will, it would be possible to lift the barriers that exist to prescribing LDN on the NHS. If this happens and NHS doctors saw first-hand the positive benefits from prescribing it to their patients, with the data collected LDN has the chance of becoming on the list of ‘acceptable’ medicines.
Right now we all have a chance to influence what happens. If enough MPs attend the LDN APPG, systems can be set up to gather evidence and act.
So, have you emailed your MP? I do urge you to – they depend on votes so they really do take notice.
From my own personal experience I have found that MPs like to know someone else in their political party is already involved in this campaign. So, you could mention Stephen Crabb (Conservative) who helped start the LDNNow campaign; Annette Brook (Liberal Democrat) who participated in the LDN debate in Parliament back in 2011, or Nia Griffith (Labour) who is organizing the LDN APPG, depending on your MPs party.
This isn’t like normal party politics – MPs recognize that for something as important as LDN, we need all the political parties to be involved. With an APPG that’s exactly what happens. I really believe your email could make a difference. We all want to be able to get LDN on the NHS and to make it available for all who are suffering.
Tell your MP that the APPG is on the 26th Feb, 9.30 to 10.30am in Room W3 (off Westminster Hall.)