B12 Deficiency

I am fully supportive of a local resident’s campaign to make B12 injectables available over the counter (OTC), ensuring that those with B12 deficiency can access treatment when they need it and reducing pressures on GP practices.

As the local resident has explained, “when the body does not have enough Vitamin B12 (a deficiency), the fatty tissue that surrounds your nerves (myelin) becomes damaged and can lead to brain damage, spinal cord damage, peripheral nerve damage and eye nerve damage. Vitamin B12 deficiency is a progressive neurological disorder and can result in symptoms ranging from severe anaemia requiring blood transfusions, to serious psychiatric conditions and potential misdiagnosis.”

This condition can affect anyone at any time.

I have, therefore, been working hard to deliver on the local resident’s key ask, having:

  • Written to the Chief Executive of the MHRA asking for her to reclassify B12 injectables
  • Written to the Chief Executive of the NICE regarding their guidelines on B12 deficiency
  • Presented a petition in the House of Chamber, which was signed by over 94,000 people
  • Held a Westminster Hall debate with the Minister for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health
  • Written to the Minister for Innovation with follow-up questions from the debate
  • Written to the Minister for Health and Secondary Care for an update on the matter
  • Written again to the MHRA to ask for details about their discussions with the companies that own the Marketing Authorisations about how the Supplementary Protection Certificates could be updated to shorten the treatment interval
  • Responded to the Government’s Women’s Health Strategy call for evidence about the need for better treatment for B12 deficiency and included many examples from women around the country of how B12 is impacting their lives
  • Met with the Minister for Mental Health and Women’s Health Strategy to discuss the Government’s current position
  • Written to the Minister for Health and Secondary Care requesting a meeting
  • Organised a meeting with the Chief Executive of the MHRA to receive an update on their current position
  • Asked a written question about funding for medical studies into B12 injectables

Going forward, I am looking forward to the meeting with the MHRA, in which I will be making the further case for B12 injectables to be made available OTC. I will, separately, be pursuing a meeting with the Minister for Health and Secondary Care.