Petition - Removing classification of prescription only medicine from injectable vitamin B12

– in the House of Commons at 8:19 pm on 23rd September 2020.

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Photo of Jane Hunt Jane Hunt Conservative, Loughborough 8:19 pm, 23rd September 2020

I rise to present a petition on behalf of two residents of the constituency of Loughborough regarding access to B12 injections, alongside an online petition that they have started on the same topic, which has been signed by over 94,000 people. Today is B12 Awareness Day, and this petition shines a light on how the rules around only accessing B12 injectables at GP surgeries is having a far-reaching physical and mental impact on those who rely on them.

The petition states:

NICE CKS guidance states that treatment of B12 deficiency in people with neurologic involvement should include injections on alternate days…a restricted maintenance dose of just four injections per year is what is normally allowed, which can leave people physically and mentally unable to contribute to either family or society…B12 injectables should be made available over the counter at pharmacies, which would bring our approach in line with that of other countries, affording those with B12 deficiency…dignity and control over their own health…and reducing the workload and financial burden on…NHS services…The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to remove the classification of Prescription Only Medicine from injectable vitamin B12. And the petitioners remain, etc.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The petition of the residents of the constituency of Loughborough.

Declares that a lack of B12 can have far reaching and significant effects on both physical and mental health; notes that a significant number of people who are B12 deficient are unable to absorb the vitamin from food or supplements, and so need to inject it, which they can only do at their GP practice; further notes that NICE CKS guidance states that treatment of B12 deficiency in people with neurologic involvement should include injections on alternate days until there is no further improvement; further notes that a restricted maintenance dose of just four injections per year is what is normally allowed, which can leave people physically and mentally unable to contribute to either family or society, and lead to permanent neurological damage; further notes that, in response to a Freedom of Information request asking for the clinical evidence for the three monthly maintenance dose, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency stated that they were unable to obtain this information; further notes that B12 injectables should be made available over the counter at pharmacies, which would bring our approach in line with that of other countries, affording those with B12 deficiency the same dignity and control over their own health as a diabetic using insulin, and reducing the workload and financial burden on GP practices, District Nurses and other NHS services; further notes that a Change.org petition started by the petitioners on this issue has garnered over 94,000 signatures.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to remove the classification of Prescription Only Medicine from injectable vitamin B12.

And the petitioners remain, etc.]

[P002599]