T3 and Desiccated Thyroid Prescriptions

T3 and Desiccated Thyroid Prescriptions

The spreadsheet below corrects the errors in the original versions I posted as a response yesterday. Have also, hopefully, improved the spreadsheet! The entries are sorted by Region, Area, PCO and Practice. I have included Liothyronine, Cytomel, Nature-Throid, Erfa and Armour in the single spreadsheet.


Data relates to the start of 2014.

The spreadsheet is in Excel xlsx format - which most modern spreadsheet programs can open. It is entirely plain text inside - nothing fancy at all.

All this data (and more) is readily available to anyone with a typical modern computer, and suitable software (which can be available without any charge - e.g. LibreOffice).

(This data is for England only. Any volunteers to do Cymru, Alba, and NI?)


32 Replies

  • Rod, I haven't come across this spread sheet before.... I am assuming you have managed to put it together? A brilliant piece of work..... that's going to make life so much easier for any of us in a new area or thinking of moving surgeries. Thanks for making it available.


  • As I posted in a response yesterday:

    The information is available from the NHS. Go here:


    Login as guest and look for what you want to know. You might need a computer with a spreadsheet or even a database program installed (both available for free).

    So whilst this actual spreadsheet has been created by me, just a few minutes ago, the entire data collection process is thanks to the NHS. My effort was getting hold of the data, extracting the small bit we are specifically interested in, pasting it into a spreadsheet and posting it here. A tiny, tiny bit.


  • Hi, I've been searching for prescription figures for NI but with no success. Have you found any?

  • chloemcm found the right site but the equivalent figures are not available.

    See more recent thread:



  • So, if the surgery my OH belongs to is only listed once for liothyronine, does that mean she's the only patient registered there who's been prescribed it? It sure looks that way!

  • Not quite that simple. Depends on data collection dates, etc. But it could be true and does seem likely. However, there is clearly difficulty in converting prescriptions and dosages to patients and what each one takes. How do you know if 100 tablets are to be taken over 100 days? Or three a day for a month? If you see 60mg and 30mg Armour, are they for one patient? Or two?


  • Thank you Rod, that looks really helpful. Isn't it amazing what's hidden away??!!

  • Wow Rod - where did you find that info? - you little weasel....

    My surgery is listed twice for Liothyronine Sod_Tab 20mcg - as 'appens in the Shires.

    I'm due a blood test - I may have slight hope for diagnosis - there's seems to be a lot of us 'roidy's in this little village, now was it just 3% NA- I shall get my calculator out....

    J :D

  • Hmmm - odd. Shouldn't be any duplication like that! But maybe there can be if one person was prescribed 28 tablets and another 56? Or something like that. :-)

  • Prescott surgery - 3 people on T3?

    it's quite spooky to see it on-screen, they are so negative with me, (I was asked if I self-harmed last time,,, sigh,,, )

    "you had an op so you're fine now" - nothing wrong with being half-cut lol! - pity you don't have the prescribing doc!! J :D

  • It does look as if the number prescribed is a factor which splits into two rows. Two people got 56-day prescriptions and one got a 28-day one. (Or something like that - you could make up all sorts of possible permutations.)

  • Hi - sorry to be dim - are these all NHS prescriptions or does it include private prescriptions as well? I used to get my Armour on the NHS (resistance to synthetic T3 and T4) but now have to pay. Get my private prescription from NHS endo. If these are NHS scripts then people under the same area are getting theirs on NHS script and not having the stress and expense of getting private one??

  • NHS only.

    I am not aware of any mechanism whatsoever for collecting information about private prescriptions. Until at least recently, it was perfectly all right for a doctor to write a prescription by hand on a piece of plain paper. So long as the receiving pharmacist was happy, that was enough. (Not sure this has even changed, but it might have done.)

    It is perfectly possible that different doctors, and different practices, interpret the guidance and regulations which affect what they can prescribe differently.

    You might find it less expensive to get your Armour from another source than a UK pharmacy. And, indeed, you might find one of the other desiccated thyroid products less expensive.


  • Helvella... do you have any recommendations as to where/what other countries (online) it is best to get NDT prescriptions filled? PM if you do. Thanks.

  • what an amazing piece of work Rod, thank you! Evidence that doctors in my CCG are are prescribing NDT. All helps with the persuasion exercise. LB

  • Very interesting, I notice both practices where I live prescribe liothyronine, yet I was told (by both) that they didnt, and having phoned round all the pharmacies in the both local and the next (larger) town along, there was not one that dispensed either it or any NDT product. wonder where they get it from!

    Neither prescribe armour though, unsurprisingly, and I couldn't take the nhs approved liothyronine anyway as it has lactose in it.

    PS, would it be possible for you to make the top line floating, its a bit of a pain having scrolled to nearly the bottom only to find you dont know what the columns are, have to scroll right to the top to write them down, then scroll all the way down again and re-find your local practice. Excellent job you've done though :)

  • If you are using Excel 2007, 2010 or 2013, click in the first cell that you want to see move (that is, not on the heading that you want to fix in place). On this worksheet it would be cell A2 - if you just want the top row to stay in place - or B2 if you want the name of the regional office to stay in place as well if you scroll to the right. Then, on the VIew tab, in the Window group. click Freeze panes and Freeze panes again. If it's not right, sigh deeply, click Freeze panes, then Unfreeze Panes and try again.

    All spreadsheet programs have a freeze panes. You just have to find it.

  • I have left it as a basic spreadsheet only without ANY fancy features at all to avoid the pitfalls of things working differently (or not at all) for some people. I think the only significant thing I did was set column widths to the size of the data they contain.

    There is no reason you cannot download it and use View > Freeze Panes (or whatever in the application you are using). That is what I would do!


  • it came up as read only, I could have saved it and and copied it to a new file etc, but Im using apache as ive lost all my microsoft office when my computer died, and ive not found out how to do many things on it yet. doesnt matter as ive read it now and its unlikely I will be reading it again.

  • Wouldn't you know it, neither of our practice's surgeries are on there. Explains why the GP ' had a stick up his back' when I asked about T3! :·(

    Cheers Mary

  • Hi Rod

    What are the dates for this data? I'm not sure how accurate it can be as my prescription is for 30 and 60mg both x100 tablets (I get them at the same time always) but this only shows for one of them.


  • Ps thanks for this amazing work!! Really great.

  • Difficult to be exact about the dates - early 2014. Is there someone else who gets only one of them?

    I don't think we can assume what date is used - the date on the prescription itself, date of presentation at pharmacy, date of fulfilment, date the form gets to the processing office...

    So perhaps the two entries (even if on the same physical prescription) could get split?

    Or a mistake? By the people who collect the information or by me!


  • No probs - checked my records and I ordered both together in Feb 2014.

    When I get more time, I'm going to probe the database!!

  • I had to go through several steps to request BNF chapter 6 (endocrine) prescriptions only (to keep volume down). That was prepared and some time later I got an email advising me of its availability for download. 296,845 kb later, I had the data in a .csv file. Loaded that into Access 2013 to run a few queries against.

  • Brill thanks Rod. It's so cool that you could do that. I think that a lot of people will be able to use this to fight their cases, if they can show that other people in their areas are obtaining the drugs they need.

  • thank you so much!

  • This is so helpful, thank you

  • Thank you for all the info 😁

  • How would one go about finding this information for Scotland?

  • I don't know if it is possible. I couldn't find equivalent data for Northern Ireland or Wales either. However, I admit that I did not exhaustively search, nor did I send in requests to get hold of the information.

    It might be available - and if it is, then I would probably be able to process the information available to make it broadly comparable. Therefore I suggest you get in touch with the various Scottish bodies and ask - if you cannot find it on their websites.

  • Rod - hoping I can print, but wow - how useful. Thanks Rod. Great help !

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