Cant get Mercury Pharma

Is anyone having trouble getting hold of MercuryPharma levothyroxine, my doctors think its ok to supply you with a different brand of levo every month, they have also informed me I can only have a 28 day supply at a time,( I was having three months at a time but the doctor said its to stop people stockpiling them) which means being as I live 3 miles from the surgery I have to make two trips every 28 days the first to give them a written request for them and then two days later I have to make the trip again to pick them up, last week I had to make a 42 mile journey to get 28 days supply of levo because they hadnt got my brand, can someone tell me my rights, Im 72 and dread to think what the NHS is going to be like if I make it to 82. I must say I live in a rural area in Wales and its not much fun when you have to take this stuff to survive, I have been on levo for forty years after RAI and I have never had this problem before and can anyone recommend another brand to replace the Mercury Pharma. I will be very grateful for some answers

15 Replies

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  • Daval, there have been a few people posting over the last few weeks about being unable to get their prescription filled with MercuryPharma levothyroxine.

    One of our admins, Helvella, made the effort to try to find out more about this from official sources.

    You can read his post about it by clicking this link:

    healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

  • What! you have hypothyroidism and the doctor thinks you are going to stockpile a product which costs all of approx £1.50 per month. You couldn't think that up it is so ridiculous. When someone is on long lifetime medication, they should be given 3 months up front. What if they run out as you've pointed out above. It just doesn't make sense and I think you're doctor should have a blood test for his thyroid hormones.

    If you've been good on a generic levothyroxine it is preferable to stay on that make otherwise it could backfire and you feel worse.

  • My practice changed from two to one month at a time and it is a real pain over holiday times since you have to argue a special case for getting it earlier than usual which takes forever! It's like having to get your mother to write a note to school except that the staff are less amenable!

    It really should be made standard practice to give three months likes you suggest.

    Would be interesting to know how many months at a time others are given. Topic for a poll perhaps?

  • Maybe speak to your MP saying that it is lifelong medication. Not a 'I shall take it this week but not for the next few months' it must cost more money, i.e. repeat monthly prescriptions, visits to pharmacist (might be too ill to collect) we could go on and on. Besides if you go away for a couple of months - what then.

  • Yes, a Poll is a good idea and will be enlightening whatever thyroid hormones we take.

  • Shaws, I have the same problem. My surgery has stopped me having 3 months at a time, and now only one month is allowed. I am on wockhardt, specified on the scrip, which has to be ordered by the pharmacy.

    This time I ordered my scrip 8 days in advance to give the pharmacy time to get it in, the scrip arrived and, ironically they sent me MercuryPharma. Because somebody couldnt be bothered to read the scrip properly. I ran out so for two days have had no levo. I pitched a bitch and the surgery has now given me 6 months of scrips to be taken into the pharmacy, so I can phone when I have a weeks supply left. Ok so long as the assistants can read! i should say that my surgery is 5 miles away in one direction and the pharmacy 3 miles in the opposite one.

  • It's not good enough. We have to have a consistent supply, for instance if there's a shortage for some reason. It does happen occasionally. we should always have a stock.

    My doctor now sends an electronic prescrip to the Pharmacist. The pharmacist request the prescript and I just collect it on the day. I phone first to make sure they have it in.

  • Does your pharmacy have a prescription collection service? In my area we have a high proportion of OAPs so they offer delivery to your door. My parents in law used to rely on this... All they had to do was fill in an authorisation form, then call the pharmacy whenever they needed a repeat.

    Regarding brands, you could ask the pharmacy to keep it on file to specify that one in particular.

  • Joburton, you have to have the brand specified on the scrip, or they wont order it. I went through this. I need Wockhardt levo. But its not a fail-safe. This time the assistant who put uo the scrip didn't even bother to read it properly. so I ran out of levo

  • Not good! At the moment, my script is non specific so ended up with a mixture of mercury and wockhardt this time (50mcg + 25mcg). What is the difference?

  • I'm guessing its a different brand of synthetic hormone. All I know is, before I joined this forum my GP surgery changed my scrip from 4x25 to 1x100mcg. I had Activis and over a period of months I became so ill I thought I would die.

  • I had been on Wockhardt for years with no issues

  • As I have posted several times, the MHRA said this:

    Levothyroxine should be prescribed and dispensed in quantities covering three months supply, where appropriate, in order to address issues of continuity of supply and also to improve convenience to patients.

    gov.uk/government/uploads/s...

    I would argue that the word of the MHRA in a highly-specific document should be trumps over some jumped up officious person who thinks they know better.

    If your local pharmacies are unwilling or unable to help, try an internet pharmacy. See here:

    nhs.uk/Service-Search/pharm...

  • That was a very interesting read, I have saved it for future reference. Very technical, but I feel its added something to my knowledge. Thank you 😊

  • Had a similar problem and insisted they make sure I get same brand prescribed each month, I had to be very firm and agressive about it but in the end they agreed.

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