Sick of paying VAT on my imported meds - can we... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK
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Sick of paying VAT on my imported meds - can we start a petition - change org maybe?


I've just had a card through the letter box, I owe the Postie £86.57 VAT on 200 1/2 grain of Armour I ordered from abroad, I actually take 3.5 grains so that's only a fraction of what I'll pay in a year.

I think there are many of us who can't tolerate Levo and have to self-medicate on T3 or NDT and there are many other patients with other conditions who can't get their meds on the NHS, I know 3 people who buy particular anti-histamines that are no longer available... we are all paying 20% VAT, if these meds were coming in to a registered UK Pharmacist, they would be zero rated....

We are being punished twice over.. once because our condition allows us free prescriptions but the NHS won't prescribe us what we need and then again because they charge us VAT.

I would like to start a campaign to stop medication being vatable to patients.

Please reply if you would support


7 Replies

I would support your petition as I have the same issue of ordering ThyroGold & being stung £73 on top! It's wrong as it's already expensive enough without the VAT!

Why not just go ahead and launch your petition, if you are moved so to do; you don't need to garner interest beforehand. People with thyroid disorders are notoriously disinterested in petitions though - the current petition for better treatment is more than 12 months old and still has only c36,000 signatures - but your petition may have a wider and more general interest base than just thyroid.

While I’d be the first to agree it’s nightmarishly expensive. - there’s not a hope in hell that anything will change. Brexit is causing quite enough problems for HMRC - there’s no capacity for anything like this to be considered at the moment. How could it be policed? Plus a key part of meds being zero-rated is that they’re prescribed by someone suitably qualified.

Edited to add:

Though actually, maybe the way to go is to encourage doctors to privately prescribe and for drugs to be sourced from an overseas pharmacy - because then the drugs would be zero rated, so long as the prescription meets the 5 conditions:

The goods must be prescribed by an appropriate ‘relevant practitioner’

The supply must be of ‘qualifying goods’

The goods must be dispensed for an individual’s personal use

The goods must not be supplied for use for patients while in hospital or in a similar institution or administered, injected or applied by health professionals to their patients in the course of medical treatment.

The goods must be dispensed by a registered pharmacist or under a requirement or authorisation under a ‘relevant provision’.

in reply to Jazzw

Yea, I agree that probably nothing can be done :( I feel like we're lucky to be able to source our own medicines from abroad at this point. I'm more concerned that this is just a loophole rather than the intention of the law, and that the less we draw attention to it the better.

I think you might be right. If they realise how many people are buying T3 and NDT from abroad they will stop us doing it if they can.

I certainly would sign as I purchased Armour for 3 years, I am on 3.5 grains like you. I could not tolerate Levothyroxine, awful stuff my whole body was aching I could hardly dress myself. So was sent for physio which I didn't need I just need a different type of medication. I purchased Armour as I could not get them on NHS as you well know how difficult it is. My GP sent me again to see an endo and he was a believer in alternative meds other than levothyroxine and was all for me using Armour so my GP had told me if the endo agreed with me using Armour he would give me Armour on the NHS. So for 4 years now I have had Armour on prescription which I am so grateful for, but terrified if my GP leaves and new GP won't prescribe. Good Luck. 🤞🏻

There is zero chance of getting VAT and Import Customs Charges (which are included in the fee) dropped for this. It's just a "goods" import. Subject to all the same regulations, charges and taxes that any other goods are subject too. It's part of the price of the goods.

I am in importer. I import all my stock. It's just how imports work. It's very different for medicines through the NHS, where agreements have been worked out and in place for years.

We should be careful of highlighting the fact that we do this at all. Especially as we may struggle to do it if we leave the EU without a deal anyway.

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