Private prescription t3 cheapest option - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK
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Private prescription t3 cheapest option

Salphy
Salphy

Hi have got a private Rx for 28 X 20mcg liothyronine tablets

Have just been quoted £315 from a UJ pharmacy

Can someone please send me details of how to get this cheaper? Either online or if I have to travel somewhere and the legalities?

Thank you :)

25 Replies
oldestnewest

You can legally import it from Germany, see thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/treatm... . I suggest you try and get your prescription changed to 50 or 100 tablets so that it matches the German pack sizes. The doctor should be willing to do this as it will only take them a minute or so.

Some people can persuade their pharmacy to source German Thybon Henning for them, at a lower cost although you might have to approach different pharmacies to find one willing or able to do so. Otherwise you can send your prescription to a German pharmacy where it will cost you c€30 for 100 tablets. However, Thybon Henning is Liothyronine Hydrochloride and not Liothyronine Sodium as dispensed within the NHS, so you should make sure your prescription does not specify the latter.

jimh111
jimh111 in reply to MaisieGray

Doctors usually write 'liothyronine' rather than 'liothyronine sodium' but do check they have just written 'liothyronine'. All the reports I've seen show that UK pharmacies charge a higher price for Thybon, about £60 for 28 tablets. They should not supply Thybon unless it is specified on the prescription or there is no UK liothyronine available. I get the impression they (or the wholesalers) bend the rules a bit.

MaisieGray
MaisieGray in reply to jimh111

It's a moot point that "Liothyronine" can lawfully and only, be deemed to be Liothyronine Sodium and not any other salt of Liothyronine especially as BNF/NICE expressly refers to Liothyronine Sodium. I'd like to see that challenged in Court, and even if custom and practise within the NHS has validated sloppy prescribing, how can that be translated to private prescribing? If the writing of "Liothyronine" has such a tightly defined inference, how is it that an NHS prescription can be dispensed with any make of the pharmacist's choice? What formal requirements can you direct me to, that obligates the filling of a private prescription with only a UK-licensed & manufactured drug; but which can be unilaterally ignored simply should a UK make be unavailable? What hard evidence do you have to support your allegation that pharmacists and/or wholesalers are bending rules?

jimh111
jimh111 in reply to MaisieGray

BNF refers to liothyronine sodium which is licensed in the UK. I never said liothyronine can only be deemed to be liothyronine sodium, in fact the opposite, a prescription for 'liothyronine' can be fulfilled with liothyronine sodium or hydrochloride - this is why I suggested the prescription just has 'liothyronine' on it. My comments were supporting and clarifying your advice to ensure the prescription is not for 'liothyronine sodium', get the doctor to just write 'liothyronine'. Perhaps next time you will read what I write before submittiing an antagonistic response.

Prescriptions are usually for UK licensed drugs as regulated by the MHRA mhra.gov.uk/home/groups/com... . Under EU rules we are able to import drugs from EU countries using a UK prescription (private or NHS). This facility is not available under the NHS, if we use an NHS prescription to import e.g. Thybon we have to pay for the drug. A doctor can prescribe a drug that is not UK licensed if they feel the patient needs it and they are prepared to take responsibility for monitoring an unlicensed drug. In exceptional circumstances where there is a problem with supplies of UK medicines non-licensed drugs can be imported, see gov.uk/drug-safety-update/l... .

I stated "I get the impression they (or the wholesalers) bend the rules a bit" because that is the impression I get! Last year I was given Thybon when my pharmacist stated his wholesaler did not have any UK liothyronine. As far as I know UK liothyronine was available but the wholesaler didn't want to get it. I did not complain as I was more than happy to receive Thybon which I find better than the UK liothyronine.

Salphy
Salphy in reply to jimh111

Thank you both for your responses. My prescription does only read liothyronine so I have called to ask for it to be changed to 100 so I can get it from Germany.

Can I just use any German pharmacy or does it have to be specific?

Also how legal is it for a friend over there to get it for me with my private prescription?

Relieved to know this is an option as I couldn't afford the UK prices and hopefully Thybon works even better for me too 🙂

jimh111
jimh111 in reply to Salphy

I use Bennewitz but any of the pharmacies listed in the link should be OK. I don't know the German rules about a friend taking in your prescription, it's no problem in the UK and probably OK in Germany but your friend would need to check. It is probably much easier for you to order it yourself, it only takes a few days to arrive.

If it helps in future it's worth knowing that an NHS prescription is fine for ordering from Germany, provided of course your GP is willing to write one and will trust you to send it to Germany at your expense.

Salphy
Salphy in reply to jimh111

Thank you. I've had to fight and get 2 consultant letters for this private prescription I've got no chance of an nhs one x

bristolboy
bristolboy in reply to jimh111

I may shortly have the opportunity to get a private prescription for Liothyronine. I've read your very helpful advice about what the prescription should say, and I would pass that on to the doctor. However I'm mindful of the cost of private consultations, and potentially having to pay for a consultation each time I need a new prescription - so how many months supply do you get on each prescription? ALSO, with Brexit looming and the facility for us to import from Germany potentially ending, or being made more complex/expensive, I wonder whether a private GP would be willing to write a prescription for, say, a year's supply? I suspect I know the answer to that question, but thought I'd ask anyway!

jimh111
jimh111 in reply to bristolboy

A private prescription can come from your NHS GP. Even if you have to use a private doctor you might ask them for an arrangement where they write a prescription for you e.g. every two months and monitor you once a year. There's no reason for them to demand an appointment for every prescription and I would make that clear if they suggest it. I apologise this is not totally helpful but it's the best we can do. My prescriptions cover two months which is the recommended approach for repeat prescriptions.

bristolboy
bristolboy in reply to jimh111

No, thanks very much, that IS helpful. Every little bit of the informational jigsaw helps me at the moment. Now I just have to have the conversation with the GP!

shaws
shawsAdministrator in reply to jimh111

Good Advice. Thank you.

SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator

UK Liothyronine should be around £240 for 28 tablets, if you shop around

bnf.nice.org.uk/medicinal-f...

Obviously it's a whole lot cheaper from Germany, but prescription must read

100 x 20mcg Liothyronine

knitwitty
knitwitty in reply to SlowDragon

I queried the price of T3 at my local pharmacy just the other week and when the pharmacist looked it up she said it would be £360 for 28 tablets, I think she was a bit shocked too.

SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to knitwitty

Presumably you know why it's so high here and so cheap everywhere else in world

mjauk.org/wp-content/upload...

knitwitty
knitwitty in reply to SlowDragon

I thought it was because parasites run and profit from making huge amounts of money at the expense of people who are sick. But I have to admit that the older I get the more cynical I become.

Thanks everyone. It just says liothyronine 20mcg tablets.

I've just called the surgery to ask for it changed to 100 tablets.

It was the pharmacy I used to work at (very well know brand) so know they aren't ripping me off or doing anything different.

We just put the medication name in the system and it comes up with the cost price from their main supplier then we had to times it by a certain percentage set by management to get the sale price. Which totalled £315.46.

Our other option was to ring round the suppliers we held accounts with for special orders and ask the price but that was only when items were oos or not available through the main supplier on the system x

mearbhall
mearbhall in reply to Salphy

Salphy, I pm’d you 2 months ago and told you how to get it from a UK pharmacy??

Contrary to some of the above comments Thybon Henning is £50 for 100 tablets from a UK pharmacy. If they try to charge you more just go to a different pharmacy.

jimh111
jimh111 in reply to mearbhall

That's interesting, when I did an informal survey patients were being charged around £60 for 28 tablets but as you point out there seems to be a big difference in prices. Possibly if the prescription specifies 28 tablets they still charge the full pack price as they are having to split packs. Seems a good idea to request prescriptions for 100 tablets.

mearbhall
mearbhall in reply to jimh111

I was also quoted £345 for 100 tablets from one pharmacy and another quoted £285, so it really does depend on what their wholesaler charges.

jimh111
jimh111 in reply to mearbhall

Charging more than 10x the actual (retail) price. It's difficult to know where the markup is, pharmacist or wholesaler.

mearbhall
mearbhall in reply to jimh111

Yes it’s difficult to know but whether it be drug companies, wholesalers or pharmacists the simple fact is there are far too many people profiting from our ill health while the NHS falls to its knees.

Salphy
Salphy in reply to jimh111

Certainly for the high street pharmacy I worked in there was a set percentage to add on to the cost price shown on the system. The percentage was the same regardless of what it was for x

Salphy
Salphy in reply to mearbhall

Oh did you? Sorry I struggle to remember what happened last week :) I'll have a look for it now thanks

Lovecake
Lovecake in reply to mearbhall

I was quoted £1072 for 100 x 20mcg liothyronine in the uk.

I get from Germany. Don’t want to change from Thybon Henning now as I am used to that brand.

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