Thyroid UK
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My latest T3 prescription: If I do the following would it be legal?

I have a very good relationship with my GP who brought up the withdrawal of T3 in a recent appointment but did say that we could "lie low" until she is told she "must absolutely stop by the powers that be".

I recently posted about the short "use by" margin on the Mercury Pharma Liothyronine, which means I don't have many tablets to see me through if/when it is withdrawn.

I am understandably nervous about all of this and would feel more comfortable if I had found an alternative source in preparation. Last week I tried to purchase some tablets from GoldPharma (just to test the system out/have some tablets in the cupboard with a longer use by). But of course GoldPharma refused my order due to the lack of prescription. (I did upload a screenshot of my online repeat prescriptions page, but they weren't buying it!) This morning my GP gave me another prescription for the T3. My question: I am going to use this prescription as I normally do to get my usual UK prescription. I am also considering uploading a screenshot of THIS SAME prescription to the GoldPharma website so that I could actually purchase some Liothyronine tablets.

Before I do so, I am just wondering if there would be any implications of using the same prescription to do this that I should be aware of. As I type this, I am even wondering if this post will be pulled......

Please advise.

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Have sent you a message.

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Many thanks,

Have replied to you

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I would absolutely scan your prescription into your printer/copier and have it at the ready to order medication on line. As you stated, it can still be used to purchase your T 3 locally. This is the way I am able to get some medication in reserve. I don't know what I would do if I hadn't stocked up on my WP recently, what with the shortages being reported and getting more severe here in the states.

Usually, all you have to do is to attach a copy of the prescription to an email to the vendor when ordering medications.

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Many thanks for responding Phoenix. Interesting to hear that there are shortages in the USA.

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Yes... RLC Labs, the maker of Naturethroid and WP NDT has expanded and upgraded their manufacturing facilities and they project that it may well be December before supplies of their NDT are available in quantity again.

This sort of thing just seems to be part and parcel of the ongoing saga of the hoops we have to jump thru and the hurdles we have to navigate in our attempts to just stay healthy and normal. It is galling to me that the powers that be will hand out pain pills and anti-depressants like they are candy but act like NDTs are a scourge on the earth and how dare we request them or T 3 medications. Sorry ... lol... lost it there for a minute.

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You could in theory do that I suppose, but wouldnt the original script show the date it was written????

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Hi Tillingmc, not quite sure what you mean? The prescription is dated 26/9/17.

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Sorry didnt explain myself properly. If you scan the original script to send abroad just the one time it wouldnt matter, but you wouldnt be able to use the same scanned script over and over because of the date.

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Unless we know the rules of the country in which it is dispensed, we cannot be sure whether that would stop its use.

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Thanks for clarifying. Presumably you would reach a point (i.e., date) whereby the prescription would no longer be presumed valid. With regard to using a prescription more than once, I wonder if, for example, at Goldpharma they cross reference the serial (i.e., reference) number (I am presuming that is the 11 digit number at the bottom of an NHS prescription) of one prescription that you send in with the reference number of another. If not, you could presumably use the same scan two or three months apart. (Can't believe that I am actually suggesting any of this.....I am a law-abiding middle-aged music teacher who doesn't break the speed limit and leads a quiet life......) BUT needs must!!!

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I know how you feel. This rubbish situation is turning us all into criminals. Maybe if we get arrested and sent to prison we'll get the drugs we need, lol

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I don't use a prescription multiple times. I usually fill it locally and then to one of the international pharmacies. Most pharmacies let you fill 90 days at a time but I don't think any of them will fill any rxs over a year old.

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MacG,

If you were intending to use the prescription twice ie by scanning it to Goldpharma and then use the original in a pharmacy I think that might be illegal. You can obtain T3 without prescription online but it won't be Mercury Pharma or Morningside Healthcare Liothyronine currently available in UK.

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Hi Clutter, Many thanks for responding. I had a look at another website (I think one that is generally well used by members here) where I wouldn't need a prescription offering 5mg then 25mcg tablets. They are out of stock of the 5mcg tablets, which would have been ideal as I take 10mcg doses. Can't see how I could effectively split 25mcg to achieve an accurate dose.

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MacG,

Halving the 25mcg to 12.5mcg is the closest you'll get to 10mcg. If that is too much you can quarter it to 6.25mcg.

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Thanks for getting back to me. Imagining that these tablets are bigger than the Mercury Pharma tablets I am used to. Makes sense.

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MacG,

Tiromel is a lot larger and easily quartered. I can quarter MP tablets with a pillcutter too.

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Wondering which type of pill cutter you use. Would be interested to purchase one of those!! Any chance you could send a link please??

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MacG,

I bought a pillmate pillcutter from a High St. pharmacy for £2.99 about 3 years ago. Need another as blade is dull now.

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Pillmate pillcutter......on it!

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I got one for about £3 from a larger Boots store it has a guillotine style cutter ideal for very small pills and can be used to store a number of pills too great if your going away anywhere or fir your handbag

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Many thanks for this FG.

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In addition to what Clutter suggested. I have done this with an extremely sharp knife. Probably out my a mcg or two. Oh and use tweezers to hold the pill!

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Thanks Ebony.

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But which law would be broken?

And in which country? UK? Germany?

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Helvella,

I said that "I think it might be illegal" by which I meant it is probably not legal to use a NHS or private prescription twice. I may be wrong.

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Trouble is, as I see it, the systems as exist allow the same prescription to be used twice. I struggle to see that anyone involved is breaking any law, anywhere. It looks like a simple "loophole".

If Germany and the UK discussed it at length, they would not intentionally set up what exists, but they have not done so beyond the pan-EU agreements which allow pharmacies in one country to recognise prescriptions written in another.

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Helvella,

How does it allow the same prescription to be used twice? Versandapo request the original prescription be sent via mail so perhaps that is to prevent it being used more than once.

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It allows it for the simple reason there is nothing to prevent it! There is no mechanism for closing the loop. So far as I know, the German pharmacy doesn't have to send the prescription into a clearing house.

Sure, Versandapo seem to require the physical prescription. So we can guess that either Goldpharma are being lax or Versandapo extra strict. I certainly don't know which.

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Hi, Can I chip in.... IF (..... I haven't done it yet!) I were to put in a scan of the prescription to the Goldpharma site is there a distinction to be made. I am ONLY using that scan of the prescription as evidence that I take liothyronine (i.e., that I am not trying to procure a drug that will do me harm). BUT, that scan is not going to be used for any financial gain because I am paying (i.e., it's not like I am trying to get TWO free prescriptions). Goldpharma are not, as far as I am aware, going to get any funds from our NHS for seeing that prescription are they? Or, are they????

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Absolutely not - Goldpharma are a simple commercial organisation and have no relationship with the NHS. An NHS prescription happens to conform to the requirements for cross-border prescriptions within the UK. Exactly the same would apply to a private prescription (provided it too conformed).

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Thanks for clarifying.

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There was an article somewhere I read recently about Use By Dates. They proved that some 20 year old tablets they tested were still of same grade as originally. I presume it would be applicable to T3 as well.

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Many thanks for taking the time to find this link.

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MacG,

I've taken MP past it's expiry date by a couple of weeks and Tiromel more than a year past it's expiry and had no adverse effects or resumption of hypo symptoms.

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Re-assuring to know! It aggrieves me, however, that we are forced into such a position when those tablets cost £9.22 each. I did send the MHRA a very detailed letter using very specific examples/dates etc outlining the issue and they simply weren't interested.

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I wouldn't make ANY assumptions.

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Hi Helvella, Have been meaning to share the response I received to keep others in the loop. Have just posted. Couldn't deal with it at first as when I read that response a red mist descends!!

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I'm just about to shoot off for a couple of weeks so cannot respond after this, but had you been put forward for T3 by your doctor or a specialist? I don't convert at all and was lead to believe that if a specialist advises your doctor the use of T3 is essential then the doctor HAS to provided and fund it from that practice? Leastwise I do hope I am right or I will be in big trouble at some point!

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Hi ThorpeBay24, You may not pick this up before you shoot off, but many thanks for responding. I think I am unusual in that my GP agreed to the T4/T3 combination three years ago when I took in the results of the DIO2 test, which shows that I have inherited the polymorphism from BOTH parents (so convert very poorly). We never involved an endo. we just got on with it ourselves and for that I am very grateful. I did remind her of the DIO2 test result when she said that the "powers that be" are saying that T3 should be withdrawn. I have a feeling that what is going to happen is that I will end up costing the NHS even more, as in order to try and continue with the T3 I will have to see a consultant. I am really nervous about that as you read such dreadful reports about the experiences that people have.To be honest, I don't have much faith in what the NHS will do for me thyroid-wise should I have to see a consultant. I am aware of the Thyroid UK lists. I have also read on the T3 Action Group page on Facebook that some people with the DIO2 polymorphism are having it withdrawn. I think I have reached a point whereby if they withdraw it I am going to try and go it alone.

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I havent had to go the T3 route so I dont know much. I have a vague memory of reading a post sometime ago where a GP was willing to write a prescription for the T3 but it specified it was not to be filled at the expense of the NHS, this allowed the patient to use a reputable online pharmacy who required a prescription or use it at a uk pharmacy but obviously they had to pay themselves.

I may well be mistaken (be confusing sources/wrong country) but as you have a very helpful GP it would be worth asking if such a thing is even possible. If it is I am sure posting an idiots guide (or prescription photo) on exactly what to write for other GPs would go down well!

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Hi Phoenix,

Thanks for this. Obviously different countries, but I was discussing with my GP yesterday trying to source T3 which is less expensive for the surgery. I was left with the impression that funding/charging/etc...etc....etc... is very complex.

I don't, for example, understand WHY the NHS doesn't just buy the cheaper foreign brands of T3.

As I have been trying to get my head around a solution I thought about asking my GP for a private prescription. I was having a look online to see what the implications of this would be and came across the following thought provoking information:

“……the GPC has recently sought legal advice that said under the current primary care contract, GPs in England may not issue a private prescription alongside or as an alternative to an NHS FP10 prescription. In any consultation where a GP needs to issue an FP10, the concurrent issue of a private prescription would be a breach of NHS regulations.

The issuing of a private prescription in such circumstances could also be seen as an attempt to deprive the NHS of the funds it would receive from the prescription charge."

Here is the link: gpjobs.pulsetoday.co.uk/art...

But I too think I have seen a post where someone said they got a private prescription. I wonder, however, if that was from a private doctor rather than an NHS doctor.

Anyone else out there know anything about this please?

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You might need to post a new question as most wont see this now.

There is definitely a way for a prescription to be written that allows pharmacies to order from elsewhere, someone did it sucessfully not long ago. They put the instructions on here from their very helpful pharmacist saying what the GP needed to write and what the pharmacy needed to do, I know I saved it somewhere in my ‘incase ever needed’ pile but Im struggling to find it. unfortunately it wont get around a ban on prescribing but if your GP uses it it might help prevent a ban on her prescribing, I think it brought the script price down into the region of a prescription fee but don't quote me!

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Hi MacG,

Sorry the post is a few weeks behind, I have just been reading yours.

I am on T3 and last year my Doctor asked me to trial Thyroxine only to see if I could do without the T3. I didn't think it would work as I have no thyroid, but agreed to it to keep her onside. I was referred to an Endo first,who was very helpful and said I could go back on the T3 if it didn't work.After a few months trying different doses, it was pushing up my blood pressure a lot,which my doctor agreed was caused by withdrawing the T3. So she agreed to put me back on the T3. My understanding was that they were trying to get people off the T3 if possible, but that if there was a clinical need for it then it could still be prescribed,which needs to be authorised by an Endo,so don't be afraid about seeing a consultant. It seems to be the doctors who are worried about their budgets!

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