Thyroid UK
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Prescriptions for cheaper T3 on the NHS

I'm getting bogged down in paperwork concerning T3, but before my next endo appointment, I'm need to establish clearly that NHS doctors are allowed to prescribe drugs that are not listed in the NHS formulary. For example, could they choose to prescribe Sandoz liothyronine? I believe that a post was written maybe 7 or 8 months ago by someone who gets this in Edinburgh.

Now that I know that it's not up to the CCG to decide what a doctor can or cannot prescribe, I'm going to have another push to get T3 on the NHS. It would be helpful if there is an official document that explains what doctors can do (without bowing to their local CCG).

So far both my endo and my GP have simply said that they are not allowed to do this, even though I explained about the Edinburgh example, and I gave them written instructions about how to do it. I'm starting to loose the will to live - and have the biggest pile of research papers so far to take to my endo, but nothing seems to help!!!

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Dolphin5,

Doctors are allowed to prescribe unlicensed drugs but according to a senior pharmacist it is frowned upon to do so when there are UK licensed drugs available. They can't be compelled to prescribe unliciensed drugs. Read thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/treatm...

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Maybe if increasing numbers of us get our doctors to prescribe alternatives like Sandoz liothyronine, then someone will realise that in fact it is the way forward. After all, as our doctors back themselves into a very silly corner, they will surely be looking for a way out - unless they are not as bright as I like to think????

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Dolphin5,

If my practice suggested switching me to cheaper German or French T3 I would be amenable as long as they would agree to switch me back to Mercury Pharma if they didn't suit. I'm not going to suggest it to them because 1) I don't know if it would suit, and 2) I'm not about to draw attention to the extortionate price of Mercury Pharma I'm prescribed.

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I understand that, and in your position I would feel the same. But for those of us who have to buy our own supplies of T3 on the internet, even after an endo has recommended that we take it, the situation is desperate.

I feel stressed on a daily basis because of this struggle, and the concern about one day getting fake drugs - or not being able to get it - feels like a real threat.

I've even worn out an industrial strength laser printer thanks to all the research papers I've printed out for myself and my endo over the last few years. Yesterday I had to buy a new one.

Something needs to change before I wear out as well!

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There might be so info that helps in these links

But you may already have seen these before

Sandoz German 25mcg

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...€20-for-30-tablets-25mcg-from-boots.-feeling-miles-better

Private prescription £1 a tablet

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

NHS can and does use cheaper alternatives

dailymail.co.uk/health/arti...

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Maybe your gp or endo will be happy to give you a private prescription to enable you to buy t3 safely from a German pharmacy. Costs work out at approx £30 for 100 20mcg tabs. It was my endo that suggested this to me as she was no longer able to prescribe t3 herself due to cost

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Is that Sandoz T3? And does your costing include the cost of the prescription?

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From memory, Sandoz no longer produce liothyronine (Edited to correct original mistype!)

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It's liothyronine that I want.

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Yes - I shouldn’t accept typo corrections when they offer the wrong word! Apologies and now corrected.

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In that case, I must do some more checking. I have found it for sale, but of course it could be old stock. I must enquire at some chemists before I see my endo, to find out what they can get. I have already done this, of course, but the promosed information was never sent to me.

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Try asking your Gp for Cytomel which is the American version of T3. It is not licenced for use in this country but is used throughout the rest of the world and is the most used T3 medication in the world. It is far superior quality to British T3 and is far more stable. It is available from the main pharmacy wholesalers that most pharmacies use and through the specialist import companies listed on the Thyroid Uk website. The most attrative aspect is that it is about £2.50 per tablet which is a lot less than £9 for the British variety. Mine is prescribed by my Gp on the NHS and sourced by a small local pharmacist who was willing to fulfill the prescription for me.

Heather

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That's still pretty expensive though, isn't it? My aim is to find one that is cheap enough that they can't complain. I also want one that comes in 25mcg tablets, as I take 12.5 per day most days. I currently use either Tiromel or Unipharma T3. They are very cheap and they have both worked well for me, so I see no reason to use an expensive one.

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