Doctor stopping Armour thyroid prescription

I was diagonised with an under active thyroid June 2015 and told I was very poorly, my results were quite bad.Doc gave me Levo and I took a big nose dive. Tried me on another brand and I reacted so badly I refused to take anymore. Doc referred me to Endo with a 3 month wait for appointment.

I started buying Arnour thyroid and by time I saw Endo I was feeling great. Endo went mad I was self medicating and took bloods, which came back just slightly above 'normal' range

Which only confirmed to me that I was right on track with self medicating. My doctor agreed to give me Armour on prescription. That is until today. He has now decided that it is illegal to give me Armour and has refused me a NHS prescription but will give me a private one. He has done this and left me with no tablets.

I have told him that I refuse to take any other tablets as they make me so poorly that I cannot function. I can't afford to order these privately so what now . He has said that I either go back on Levo or become very poorly again.

How can they justify doing this to a person. Has anyone else received this abrupt withdrawal of medication

Will armour be cheaper on a private prescription or buying these direct from overseas. They are currently £170 for 5 grains (100 tablets)

Any advice would be great. Thank you in advance X

34 Replies

  • Well the good news is that you can buy your own meds from abroad without a prescription and they will definitely be cheaper. I use thiroyd which is the same thing as Armour. (An NDT) but made in Thailand. Price is around £70 for 1000 x 1 grain tablets. There are lots of other brands and armour is the most expensive one.

    However.... The doc isnT behaving very well in just removing the meds which proved to be efficacious for you. i suggest you contact the head of practice to understand your docs reasoning, if, your doc is prepared to write a private prescription, he obviously has faith in the medicine, he just doesnT like the cost and the fact that he has to have insurance in case you sue him if it goes horribly wrong.... It isnT illegal for him to prescribe, and on the website attached to this forum are clear explanations of how your doctor is allowed to prescribe on a named patient basis. Http://

    How much medication do you have? It takes 2 or 3 weeks to order it in from abroad.

    Xx g

  • Just a thought....

    Armour was around for decades before the FDA took an interest, and it was then withdrawn, reformulated, and didn't work for many of us.

    I would suggest that it wasn't just coincidence that a few years before this happened, we got the Internet, and the arrival of health forums such as this one, and many were raving about Armour on-line.

    So, many people moved to ERFA, and recommended doing so on the forums. Result? ERFA went the same way as Armour.

    So I really wish that people would no longer talk, or recommend, the various brands of NDT 'in the open' but confine those details to private messaging.

    Many of us cannot survive without a 'good' NDT, and we can't afford more Armour/ERFA situations.

  • Wow.. 5 grains? I didn't even know they came in 5 grain sizes but some folks do require that much. I guess you will probably need to call around and see what you will be charged locally for the Armour. Armour is the most expensive NDT in the marketplace. Maybe time to think about substituting another NDT? Naturethroid is probably one of the most reasonably priced NDTs. If you choose to go with one of the 2 - 3 Thailand brands, it will be considerably cheaper than any of the US brands.

    There are Canadian pharmacies that require a prescription and sell Naturethroid. They would probably let you substitute Naturethroid for your Armour. Or maybe ask your doctor/endo to write the rx as follows... 5 grains natural desiccated thyroid .... and follow with dosage (once per day etc). This allows you the freedom to fill with any NDT you like. Some pharmacies are sticklers about brand names tho. You can tell the endo that you are going to have to shop around price-wise. My NP cks the prescription allowing me 1000 tabs. Universal will only fill max 1/3 of any prescription that is filled with more than a month's worth of tabs so I used to get 300 Erfa at a time.

    Universaldrug (rx required) has 100 - 1.5 grains Naturethroid for $ 34.00. You would need 3 + tabs per day but still not a bad price. All you do is set up your acct., pick out your meds, pay for them and then scan your prescription and save it. Email Universal and send the scanned copy of your rx as an attachment to the email and you are set to go. You might even call them and see if they can obtain the 5 grains Naturethroid as a special order and, if so, what would the price be.

  • You are not supposed to give sources here, only via PM

  • mistydog,

    phoenix23002 has given details of a pharmacy that requires a prescription. It's only sources that supply without prescription that should not be posted publicly.

  • If your doc has given you a prescription you are in a very strong position, you can buy NDT from almost anywhere - (you have to Google it!). It is not illegal to take NDT nor for your doc to prescribe it. It is simply not the main stream yet, although it will be very soon. The only problem is the drug companies, they can't patent (read, can't make billions of dollars) off NDT because it comes from a pig and they can't patent a pig. The big pharmaceuticals bully doctors into only prescribing Levo and the like. Stick to your convictions and go with what makes you feel well. I am in the same situation, I have a plan B should my Endo ever freak out and stop prescribing me NDT - I just Googled it.

  • On the basis that the alternatives to desiccated thyroid (levothyroxine and liothyronine) are not in patent, why would the companies care so much?

    On the basis that one of the two main UK brands of levothyroxine and Armour Thyroid are part of the same company, why would the companies care so much? Especially as Armour Thyroid is so massively higher-priced than humble Actavis levothyroxine? Allergan would probably get much more profit if Armour Thyroid came into common use in the UK again.

    Certainly the Synthroid marketing machine is a very powerful thing, and has maintained what appears to me to be a very high price for it it over the more than fifty years since it became regularly available.

  • Perhaps it's the egg-on-the-face effect. Big Phama has poured billions into Levo and Synthroid research and the like and it doesn't seem to be as effective as the NDT that has been around for a century or more. There is, of course, the added frustration that docs don't seem to know how to use it properly.

    Could be a bit like still going to the shops on your bike because you don't know how to turn on your Tesla.

  • Do you really believe that they have poured billions into "Levo and Synthroid research"?

    What research do they need to do on substances which have been in continuous, widespread use for well over fifty years? The development costs were recovered an awfully long time ago.

    I suspect the biggest bills the makers of Synthroid have to pay are from their lawyers and marketers.

  • I very much hope that the last paragraph is happening. The sickness these pill cause are a lot more than an inconveniencing side effect.

  • But they are paying their lawyers to make sure that they unassailable and to keep competitors in check - so far as they can. Not paying out on claims.

  • And yet many millions of people do just fine on T4-only treatment: I did for nearly 20 years. I appreciate that it may not have worked well for you but your own experience is just that: your OWN experience. As soon as anyone uses the term "big pharma" I tend to stop reading as what usually comes next is woo and a rambling rant, most of which seems to rely on the most tenuous of grasps on scientific principles and an awful lot of what-some-bloke-down-the-Internets-said.

    Do pharmaceutical companies want to make a return on their research investment? Of course they do. It's a business. But trying to imply that all pharmaceutical companies are somehow evil because they want to stay in business and develop solutions to, say, Ebola, or you know, meningitis, is idiocy. No, they're not acting altruistically. But I don't expect them to. I do expect them to develop solutions for current problems like antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. And frankly will be very glad when they do. As I'm sure all folks who rant about "big pharm" will be too.


    Sorry, just sick to the back teeth of woo and conspiracy theories. Nothing personal.

  • And which Big Pharma do you work for?

  • Well, my maiden name was farmer and I used to weight 11 stone at five foot one. Does that count?

    (Both of these are for-real true.)

  • I do, of course, realize that T4-only works for many people, I was one of them for 5 years until that maker (Forest) was run out of town by Activis and Forest’s T4 was replaced by some inadequately tested pill which was close to toxic to me. And, yes, as I said, T4-only works for many people, but many millions? I wish I could find the proportion of those for whom it works vs. those for whom it is one hair away from toxic. We will never be given those stats because it might bankrupt the manufacturer.

    Now regarding “…your own experience is just that: your OWN experience…” When you get so many anecdotal complaints about a drug as you read on sites like this – and this is not the only site, then you have a perfectly reasonable statistical sample, worthy of looking into.

    Before you sing the praises of drug making companies read the account of Martin Shkreli the pig who bought a drug making company and bumped the cost of an Aids drug from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill! But his pill saves lives doesn’t it so we shouldn’t criticize should we, we should just be thankful, it’s just business and he deserves his profits doesn't he? (NO!). There are dozens of medical problems which have merit and solutions for many people but companies do not want to sink money into the R and D because there is not enough profit in it. It's a horrible thing to think about.

  • Hose, Stay in business? Yes, of course. But do the drug companies also gouge people.... often sick people who really need their meds? Absolutely. My husband requires an expensive antibiotic or he will die . It costs over $ 1600.00 per month. With insurance coverage, we still pay over $ 700.00 per month. And that is just at 2 pills per day. Look up Xifaxan. No way it costs that much to mfg.

    Look at the difference in cost for digoxin. (it helps the heart to pump more forcefully) A few years ago, it was cheap as dirt.... about $ 2.00 for a month's supply.. now it is over $ 20.00. Look at what has happened to the price of T 3. You could get a few month's supply for $ 20.00 + dollars and now it is four times that much if you can find a quality product, that is. I used to get a thousand tabs of NDT for just over $ 100.00 (about 8 mons worth of product) and now it is over double that.

    I admire your generosity of spirit towards the drug companies but I can't share it. I guess I am just too cynical based on my personal experience. I do agree with you that some do very well on T 4 only meds. I don't convert so have to have NDT. My sis tho, has been on synthroid for forty years and can't tolerate NDT. We are all different.

  • They may bully but in the U.S. bribing works well, too:)

  • Geez, I never thought of that! A whole new strategy appears on the horizon.

  • It may be the CCG in your area and your GP hs only just relied, see my post on CCG response. It depends which County you live in some can get it some can't a lottery really.

  • Relied should read realised sorry!

  • I buy my own ndt online from Thailand and my doctor has agreed to monitor me as i also had a very nasty reaction to levothyroxine but my doc cant prescribe ndt.

    I buy thiroyd online for £34 for 1000 grains which will last approximately 1 year depending on my dose! So it isnt expensive. No prescription needed!

  • What is the company called that you get this armour from. Saw endo at bri in Bristol and she said they don't prescribe amour at all in this country.

    I would love to give

    this a try as I ve been unwell

    for so long on levothyroxine.

    Thanks in a advance.

  • katemimi1,

    You will notice that rosieposiejack did not refer to Armour Thyroid.

    Armour is one make of desiccated thyroid and it is best to be careful not to confuse things by using the name "Armour" for other products - even if they are similar.

    Your endo at BRI did one of two things. Am trying to decide which one is the

    Demonstrated her ignorance because it is prescribed in the UK - at least sometimes. Hence misinformed you through ignorance.

    Knows it is sometimes prescribed but didn't want to let you know. Hence misinformed you through malice.

    Both options are pretty damning.

  • Thank you for that information. Can you tell me the best place to buy the ndt. I am getting no where with the nhs to the point some days I am so fatigued I can't leave the house.

    Many thanks

  • Sorry - I don't buy it so have not got the personal experience to advise. I am sure someone will be along to give suggestions by Private Message.

  • It is not illegal to prescribe Armour on the NHS. In their resources TPAUK have a copy of a letter from the Minister of Health to say so. You could show a copy of that to your doctor. However when a doctor prescribes a medication they are taking on personal responsibility for it. Some are scared to do this with an unlicensed drug. But, your doctor has already been prescribing it and seeing for him/herself that you are much better on it.

  • Also might be worth checking out the thyroid uk website for the "named patient basis" information leaflet they can post out. It explains that ur gp can prescribe ndt on a named patient basis as u have proof levothyroxine doesn't work for u. Many docs choose not to abide by this tho due to the cost on their budget and because of the rediculous lies they have been told by the big pharmaceutical companies about the effects of ndt.

    Im lactose intolerant and my gp wouldnt prescribe lactose free levo and the start of my journey,due to its cost on his budget! Rediculous huh!

    Easier to order ur own and less expensive that paying for a private prescription.

    There is a Facebook page called "ftpo for thyroid patients only" and ud get lots of advice and help on there, along with sources where u can obtain ndt without a prescription. Xx

  • Loads of good advice and moral support, as always. Thank you for taking the time to reply. I will look in to sourcing other natural tablets. I have nothing to lose

  • Contact PALS at once! He has probably stopped prescribing it because of the cost. Regardless its important that you stay on your meds.

  • If it were me i would report him for saying that to you about going back on levo when he knows it doesnt suit you. That is truly a lack of care that you are entitled to. Report him!

  • Well, if he says you can go back on Levo or become very poorly again, I guess he's saying you can just feel poorly....... period. What a pathetic remark from a so called healer.

    Follow the advice here. I think naturethroid works as well. Armour used to be reasonable.

  • Hi,

    Is it your GP that won't prescribe or your endocrinologist? If it was your endo you could return to your GP and see if he/she will prescribe it for you. If not, then you could try and find a private endo that will prescribe or buy online.

    I'm in a situation similar to yours because I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer which, was removed, but caused me to go seriously hypo. The synthetic drugs didn't work and my endo trialed me on Armour. This is making me better and is needed to stop the thyroid cancer from returning (I still have the left side of my thyroid and am still at risk of it returning) but, my GP refuses to prescribe it because it is not licensed. So, my endo is prescribing it but I have a 50 mile round trip on public transport to get it and he says that he cannot keep prescribing it because he doesn't have a big budget. He is trying to get the cancer hospital to prescribe beause it is a cancer drug I need but I'm still waiting!!! The system stinks and I'm so sorry that I cannot help you further.

    Good luck.

    TT xx.

  • Yes they do this, and do not care what "you know" since it is your body. My experience is no matter what I say, and even the actual labs proving what I say will not be believed. It is bizarre. They have tunnel vision.

    I am hopeful as I have an appointment with a physician I found through a compounding pharmacy pharmacist. She will prescribe T3 along with T4, and looks at the whole picture. This is after seeing 2 endocrinologists who refused along with the internist who refused to prescribe.

    It is crazy town how these people treat women.

  • Hi I99, thanks for pointing out that you sometimes have to move from doctor to doctor and from Endo to Endo. That is a concept that is very foreign to many trusting people, I was one. We tend to think our doctors know everything and it leaves us bewildered when we run up against one who is truly ignorant on concepts of the endocrine system. I have a regular, local, doctor who I can see for the snivels etc but my thyroid doctor is 200 miles away - that was another concept I had to get used to.

    I never imagined that I would go to the doctors in this way - but it's just what you have to do.

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