Availability of Mercury Pharma (Concordia) Levothyroxine?

Is anyone currently having problems getting hold of MP Levothyroxine?

I have a prescription for 'Mercury Pharma Levothyroxine 100 mcg', which my pharmacist usually orders in for me with no problems. However the 3 big wholesalers - AAH, Alliance and Lexon, currently have none in stock - only Teva.

I can only tolerate the Mercury Pharma brand and can't take Actavis, Wockhardt or Teva.

Has anyone else had similar issues recently?

Thanks

22 Replies

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  • Sassicat,

    I've not seen other posts saying members are having difficult sourcing Mercury Pharma.

    Ring Concordia Customer Services and see how they can help you and your pharmacist concordiarxinternational.co...

  • Thanks, I have done and they say that there are no supply issues, except there is as the wholesalers who supply our area don't have any. However Concordia have spoken to my pharmacist and are trying to arrange a special delivery through Lexon (one of the suppliers).

  • Eltroxin is identical to Mercury levo so it might be easier to get your doctor to prescribe Eltroxin (which is marginally cheaper than the generic). It's then up to your pharmacist to obtain Eltroxin rather than them just saying they can't obtain Mercury.

  • Eltroxin branded levothyroxine appears to have been very much less available than Mercury Pharma branded over recent years. It might make a bad situation worse.

    It could be worth checking through some of the internet pharmacies.

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

  • True, Eltroxin availability has been restricted (they can charge more for generic) but if you get a prescription you can pass the problem onto the pharmacist who can contact Concordia if they have problems.

  • Thanks ..... In this case it's to complete a partially filled script, so I need to stay with the pharmacy who first dispensed it. My pharmacist is happy to order whatever make of levo I want - he is incredibly understanding and helpful - and has sid that it's actually easier with a script just for levo. Although my doctor will specify Mercury Pharma on the prescription.

  • Thanks!

    Unfortunately when we've tried having a prescription for Eltroxin, the pharmacist orders Eltroxin, but the suppliers just send generic Mercury Pharma levothyroxine, (because it's the same as Eltroxin with same the product license and they are listed as being the same thing), and then the pharmacist can't dispense it as it's not the same 'name' as on the prescription! (Totally ridiculous!)

    I think a lot of what the wholesalers buy is down to price and what the local Clinical Commissioning Groups are prepared to pay for each drug.

    I have a prescription but it doesn't alter the issue of the wholesalers not having any in stock! My pharmacist is very helpful, but obviously he can't get hold of a product if the wholesalers don't have it. :-(

  • In the short term I'd try Boots as they are the sole distributor for Concordia's other thyroid medication liothyronine, so chances are they receive the Mercury levothyroxine. I'd also report the problem to the MHRA as you should not be having any problem with obtaining Eltroxin or the generic version.

    I suspect Concordia are trying to push up the price of levothyroxine and perhaps if they are demanding a higher price that puts off the wholesalers they are also sending a signal to other licence holders that they would like prices to rise. This would explain the short supply of Eltroxin, which is price controlled, if it wasn't difficult to obtain they couldn't charge more for generics. By restricting the availbility of Eltroxin it will be easy to justify discontinuing it "it's not prescribed anymore", by discontinuing Eltroxin they will have removed price controls. This is all just guesswork at the moment but reporting the problem to the MHRA will ensure this scenario doesn't happen and Eltroxin will be readily available.

  • Disappearance of Eltroxin would cause a situation to arise in which the official reference levothyroxine product is not available. So just what would be done to compare the various levothyroxine products?

    I doubt that Mercury Pharma branded levothyroxine could just be declared the new reference product, but what do I know about such things?

  • I've not heard of 'reference' medicines. As an example Tertroxine was simply replaced with liothyronine, the same product in the same tub. Patients were informed that they should ask their doctors to change their prescriptions from 'Tertroxin' to 'liothyronine'.

  • The concept of reference medicines is widespread. This is one example from an MHRA PAR:

    Studies in patients have been conducted to determine that the reformulated Levothyroxine 100 microgram Tablets are bioequivalent to the reference medicine, Eltroxin 100 microgram Tablets. Two medicines are bioequivalent when they produce the same levels of the active substance in the body.

    mhra.gov.uk/home/groups/par...

  • I see, makes good sense, if the generic didn't deliver similar amounts it would not make sense to describe it as the same dose. If I remember correctly this doesn't go as far as stating generics must deliver at the same rate or have the same absorption profile. I'm on shaky ground here but I vaguely remember a TUK medical advisor saying the tests are not good enough.

    Also, branded products do get dropped and generics continue. I don't know what happens in this case, I can only guess they compare the generics to the results they have on record for the reference medicine.

  • I use Boots and it’s always been Mercury pharma for my 25mcg pills and they give me Activas for the 50mcg tab.

  • I always insist on mercury pharma and mine is always elroxin these days. Has been since spring time I think. No problem getting it down here in dorset presently.

  • I think you must have different wholesalers down there :-)

  • Thanks for all your replies, I really appreciate them :-)

    I rang Concordia who have been in contact with the pharmacist and they are trying to find a way for Lexon, the smaller of the 3 wholesalers that this pharmacy uses, to order a small quantity, and then they can supply it to the pharmacist.

    It seems bizarre that all of the three wholesalers who supply all the pharmacies in my area (including Boots) only have Teva levothyroxine and no other brand. This seem to go against the guidelines that sticking to one make of levothyroxine is best.

  • It's even more crazy as when I went to Boots the other day, they supplied Almus (which is Actavis packaged for Walgreen Boots Alliance's own subsidiary) - and made a point that it is the only one they ever supply.

    (Obviously not true for 25 microgram tablets which are not manufactured by Actavis.)

  • I have the opposite problem I take teva but can only get mercury .felt worse than ever for last two weeks.seems some pharmacist dont think there is a difference.but I clearly think there is.

  • It is a worry that TEVA seems to be flooding the market place when it appears to be the one with the most complaints about it at the moment.

    Has anyone who sent in a yellow card had any feedback from doing that I wonder?

  • i was really ill with Teva I get mercury Pharma from boots now.. no I don't think i have heard back from when i yellow flagged it, but i would in no way take it again..

  • Must admit I had trouble with Almus (makes me feel awful if i have to much of them) but have balanced it out with Mercury Pharma however i can only get them in 25's so I have to take 1 x 50 Almus and 3x 25 of mercury, it seems to work at times for me but want to go over to mercury but thats going to be an awful lot of tablets to take at 5:30am since they only do them in 25s.

  • My experience is that Eltroxin and MP Levothyroxine are not the same.

    I used to regularly have MP Levothyroxine (I had TT around 2003) then between September and December 2015 I had 5 different brands. It affected me very badly - I became very depressed etc so I spoke to our GP Pharmacy . They said they could not get MP Levothyroxine. From January 2016 I was given Eltroxin and it was named on the prescription.

    It certainly was better than before (I think the problem was Wrockhart). Then 8 weeks ago suddenly there was MP Levo! My prescription is for 125. With Levothyroxine I don't take the 25s on two days each week. If I take any more I get palpitations/dizziness. I took the whole 125 of Eltroxin without the same effects and I didn't ever feel that I was back to feeling as well as I used to. Last week I suddenly felt fantastically well and back to being the person I had been before the changes of brands. The surgery's pharmacy are now keeping the Levothyroxine they have marked with my name but I am going to write this up and have it put in my notes.

    The pharmacy manager told me that someone else had reported that they too were having problems without MP Levo.

    I think we all react differently to each of the products but the two MP products in my experience are certainly not the same.

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