!!!Problems Importing Armour From the USA!!!

My sister, who lives in Scotland, has been importing Armour from a compounding Pharmacy in the US for almost 30+ years. She has just been informed that they will no longer accept prescriptions from doctors outside of the US and will no longer ship overseas. Has anybody else that imports NDT from the US run into this problem? PR

23 Replies

  • Not yet, but I read an article earlier about the big crack down the FDA are having in the states and insisting that all american pharmacies only dispense with the proper prescriptions. It didnt mention or include ones specifically for export though

  • I dont have a prescription btw and purchase without

  • susymac, we have had a problem for years with the pharmaceutical industry paying off members of congress to enact legislation that would put the compounding pharmacies out of business. The quickest way to gain market share is to eliminate the competition. The compounding pharmacies have been in the vanguard of bio identical hormones. I have not been able to get a straight answer yet as to why the sudden change after so many years. I'm still digging for answers. PR

  • Can I ask where from, cost

  • You can ask but a reply on the group would not be allowed.

    22. Do not post advertisements, links or information of any sort whatsoever, on where or how to obtain UK prescription only medications without prescription.


  • Rod, she has, and has had, a prescription for 30+ years starting with the Scottish endo she worked with. Back then, approximately the mid 1980s, I was able to get her lined up with the Rohr plant in Puerto Rico, at that time Rohr owned the Armour brand. The plant manager had gotten several calls from the UK after NDT was banned. After a few years Rohr got sold and became Rohr Rhone Poulenc, for awhile, and then Forest ended up with the Armour brand. For about a year the Broda O Barnes Foundation had the International distribution rights before Forest bought Armour. That was actually how I came across the Barnes Foundation, I was tracking down Armour for my sister. For many years the only way to get Armour, with a script, was to buy it overseas, mainly in the US. At the time Armour reformulated and there was a shortage, we both switched to compounded, and she found it stored better, she used to get a years worth at a time. I think we just got old and set in our ways of doing things. PR

  • You can, however, send a private message to someone you think may have the information you need. :O)

  • PR, we could do with some clarification here. Armour is a brand of desiccated thyroid made by Forest, which can be obtained on prescription here in the UK.

    Obviously this is not the medication you are referring to. So what exactly is the product your sister imports from the compounding pharmacy?

  • RedApple, I am talking about Armour. Sis had a TT in 1969 and was put on a suppressive dose of 3 3/4 grain Armour thyroid. In 1970 she moved to England with her new Scottish husband and did just fine until around 1978 or so when the UK banned NDT. The doctors in England would not refer her to an endocrinologist even though she was having obvious problems with Syn T4. At the time the common belief both in the UK and the US was that Syn T4 worked for everyone, it would take a few years before they began to recognize that some people didn't get along with Syn T4. About 1982 they moved to Scotland and the first GP she saw sent her to an endo straightaway. He spent three years trying every combination of Syn T4 and T3 both alone and in combination before he finally conceded they were not working and prescribed Armour. At the time you could not get Armour in the UK, it simply wasn't available anywhere. So, ever since she has imported from a compounding pharmacy here in the US. I think part of the reason was that the cost was less even with VAT and shipping. As I'm sure you are aware it cost 100,000 pounds to get an import license so the cost is considerably more thru the licensed importers. I take 4 gr. per day and it costs me about $25.00 a month here in the US. She has been doing this for 30+ years so the sudden change is rather alarming. I am curious if anyone there has heard of any similar situations. I know that some people get there NDT from the US and some get Erfa (?) from Canada. I am also digging to find out why after 30 years the situation has suddenly changed. Any insight would be appreciated. PR

  • There are other pharmacies in the US that are specifically for exporting, that she will be able to buy her armour from. There is no need to only use a compounding pharmacy for a branded product.

    The article I was reading earlier did say there had been a change in the legislation about prescriptions needed, I paid little attention to it though as it didnt concern me, and I cant find it now. I'm sure it was on the FDA web site, but I could be wrong

  • Thanks, I will go have a look. PR

  • I just re-read your post. She has been importing meds through an unlicenced exporter because its cheaper, and because of the crack down on illegal and fake drug sales, they are no longer able to export without a licence or they could be shut down.

    Which means she will now have to pay more to import through a licenced one the same as everyone else in the UK who imports has to do.

    While I can appreciate the difference in cost is an inconvenience when you are used to getting it cheaper, I'm afraid it is the same for us all. Many of us cant really afford the cost and have to go without other things in order to pay for our meds. Its not right but thats just the way it is.

    Is there not a way you could get her meds for her and post them to her ?

  • susymac, she was getting her scripts filled in Puerto Rico and the US because for many years that was the only way you could get Armour or any NDT in the UK. You have to understand, sis started on Armour in 1969, moved to England in 1970 when you could still get Armour in the UK. I started about 1989 or so, the memories are a little fuzzy from that time. We just didn't keep up with all the regulation changes, it just worked for 30+ years. And you are right, the price in the UK for Armour is outrageous. As I mentioned I take 4 grain per day of NatureThroid and it costs me about $25.00 per month. This is rather ironic because normally here in the US we pay 50% or more for our prescription drugs compared to the rest of the world. We also pay 2-5 times as much for common operations such as hip and knee replacements. You get old and change is a pain in the a**. Thanks for your input. PR

  • Yes, I had posted this before you clarified (post below) I do understand the problem better now, I just had difficulty understanding what you were getting at prior to the clarification.

    We dont have compounding pharmacies in the uk, so we dont tend to know that much about them.

    As I have said below. Armour was reformulated back to close to what it was, as so many people suddenly found it unsuitable for them, and it possible she may be able to take the branded one again ok.

    I get that she (we all) doesn't like change, but if its now been legislated against that compounded medicines cant be exported, then I think you might not have much option but to find either an alternative way of getting it or an alternative medicine.

  • RedApple, just talked to sis,one clarification, after Armour reformulated she switched to the compounded because the desiccated powder seems to keep better in the oil they use compared to the tablet Armour makes. In the US there is now only one company that makes the USP desiccated thyroid powder. All the companies that make an NDT product use that powder, RLC Labs, Forest and so forth. So, you are right, she was getting Armour up until the reformulation and then switched to compounded NDT but both were cheaper imported versus buying in the UK. PR

  • you can ignore my post above, this one wasnt posted when i started typing, it can take me a little while to type with my fingers !

    btw they reformulated Armour back to almost what it had been previously, she may be able to take it now

  • Hi susymac - have they definitely re formulated Atmour back to the old formulation? I have only been on it since January 2012 and struggled for the first year but have been doing pretty well on it this year. Do you know when they changed if back again? Thanks.

  • I dont remember, I do remember reading about it at the time though, no idea where. But I started taking armour just before you did, and went through a bad patch around the same time as you, then when I got a batch of the new (reformulated back ones) suddenly started doing a lot better on it. I dint know it had had the formula changed back at that time, but when I read it had it made sense and fitted in with how I felt on it, if you know what I mean. My memory is absolutely shocking though. I doubt I would have remembered where I read it an hour after let alone a year later :P

  • Thanks - maybe that is why I am better now :)

  • Thanks for the clarification PR, it all makes sense now!

  • Still cant find the article but the compounding pharmacies have very recently had new regulations enforced. If you google the "drug compounding regulation bill" that was passed 2 weeks ago you may find the answers you are looking for, although the new regulations will not help your sister in getting any more of the armour she was getting and may need to look for an alternative now that compounding pharmacies are regulated

  • These huge pharmaceutical companies are so powerful that they pay lots of $s to get their way, I believe also that legislaters may also be funded by them to change laws/rules to benefit the above?

    I don't know if the following link will be affected:-


  • However at least one compounding pharmacy appears to have been behind a chain of 720 cases of fungal meningitis including 48 deaths.


    Maybe big pharma is happy - but so too will be those who think something should be done about the company at the heart of the problem. Enough of them to launch over 400 lawsuits.


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