Armour thyroid unavailable through GP as unlicensed?

Hi, I wonder if anyone has been able to get Armour thyroid tablets from anyone other than their GP? My endocrinologist has put me on 120mg but my usual GP won't continue with my prescription and 4 other surgeries in my catchment area won't either?! I wanted to do it properly by going through GP but looks like that is a no go :( I don't really want to go back on levothyroxine & T3 combination as it didn't really make any difference. Since I've been on natural I've lost half a stone!

Any advice would be great, thank you!

9 Replies

  • My endo put me on armour and i have to get my tablets from the hospital ,when he first prescribed them he wrote to my GP then some council (something like PTC) got their permission and then mine .But i have to phone Endo secretary to ask for a prescription then they take it to the Pharmacy who then phone me and i collect from there

    hope this helps

    sue x

  • Hi Sue, thanks for your reply. My Endocrinologist says he cant continue prescribing armour for me it has to be from GP :( my local Asda pharmacy got the armour in no problem I just can't get them!!

  • Hi, I am in the same position as Sue1947, prescribed Armour by my endo but my GP surgery refused to issue any prescriptions saying it is unlicensed in this country and would never prescribe it. They also reported my situation to the MedicinesManagement committee at the hospital. But my endo supported me. So I also have to get imy prescriptions from the hospital, which is unfortunately, hour's journey away by car!

  • Doctors can refuse to prescribe because NDT is unlicenced even though it has been in use for many, many years successfully. It was the only thyroid hormone available until the blood tests were introduced along with levothyroxine.

    NDT can be prescribed on a named-patient basis if you can find someone willing to do so. If we don't do well on levo we are then given other prescriptions for the remaining or new symptoms so the cost would probably be the same. If they do prescribe on a 'named patient basis' it means they are taking responsibility if the hormones don't agree with you.

  • Hi Shaws, my local Asda pharmacy got the armour thyroid for me when my endocrinologist prescribed it but now my GPs won't continue with prescribing it! So I have a pharmacy that gave stock and no prescription to get them, very frustrating :( why is it unlicensed?

  • NDT is called a 'grandfathered' hormone due to it being in use for many many years, successfully I might add from 1892.

    Big pharma pulled out all the stops when the blood tests and levothyroxine were introduced and doctors in the USA paid monetary rewards for using it so that it is now the most prescribed and profitable hormone in the USA. The British Thyroid Association also make false statements regarding NDT but the patients who use it and recover know best. Not the doctors or endocrinologists. The link below gives the explanation.

    The following link was written by a scientist/doctor which is self-explanatory and despite 3 yearly reminders by Dr Lowe for a response, these were ignored completely. At least we can read it and be informed even more.

  • Armour is available on a named patient basis but most GP's consider it too expensive.

  • GPs prescribe unlicensed medicines all the time. Most particularly, there are two categories which are major issues.

    A huge proportion of medicines have not been tested and specifically approved for use in children - some very common medicines. So a surprisingly large proporiton of children's prescriptions are technically for unlicensed medicines.

    A large number of medicines are prescribed for things other than their licensed use. A classic is the current Lucentis issue for eyes - a huge bust-up between doctors and a pharmaceutical company there.

    It is the GP's interpretation that is questionable - why is one unlicensed medicine OK and another not? Just because the medicine happens to be licensed for something else is not much of an argument for using it in another condition. However, it will already be in the supply chains and in BNF and so on, so it doesn't cause so many obvious issues as a totally unlicensed medicine.

  • helvella, I am quite shocked to read your paragraph 'a huge proportion of medicines have not been tested and specifically approved for use in children - some very common medicines. So a surprisingly large proportion of children's prescriptions are technically for unlicensed medicines.

    Can you point me in the right direction for any more information on this subject, or are there any lists out there please.


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