Can someone definitely confirm that my own GP can privately prescribe me Armour Thyroid?

It says on the Thyroid UK website ( -

"According to the MHRA, in the UK a GP is allowed to prescribe any of the natural thyroids on a "named patient basis" on the NHS or privately."

Is it possible to prove that the MHRA have stated this? I would like something definite to show my GP so if he's not willing to prescribe it for me on the NHS, I can pay for it privately. Has anyone seen it on the MHRA website?

7 Replies

Did you read this PDF?

It contains a letter from the MHRA on or around this subject. Not sure it answers your question in quite the clear, unambiguous and definitive terms that you (and I) would wish. But it does at least mention it as not illegal and therefore a possibility.

All the best


I can only answer for myself but it may be useful. I asked my GP if I can try Armour. He told me that it would have to be approved by an endocologist.

I have been to Bart's in London and have been told that prescribing Armour was a retrograde step and would not give it to me. I have another appointment soon but I really don't hold out much hope. My advise would be that, if you can afford to go private, do it.

My MP wrote to the Health Secretary who confirmed that natural desiccated thyroid can be prescribed by GP's as long as they take fully responsibility. At the end of the day GP's don't want to pay for it, fight them as it would not be fair that you will be paying around £25 per month for Armour when there are several people out there who have their Armour on the NHS.

Hi Suze

Thanks for your answer. From what I've read on the net, it looks like GPs go to great lengths to avoid prescribing Armour even when patients are really suffering on synthetic thyroid drugs. I'm guessing it's mainly because of the cost. I was thinking that if I asked my GP if I could pay for Armour on a private prescription, he might not be so reluctant to prescribe it. And then if I'm better on Armour after a few months, then he ought to be able to prescribe it on the NHS, because it's his job to make me well and if Armour is more effective then that's what he should prescribe! That's the plan, but it might be a bit naive!

I think my question should have been a bit more general - 'Can your own NHS GP write private prescriptions?'

I hope you are well.



I am sure cost is the part the PCTs care about. But far worse for individual doctors (whether GPs or consultants) is that they endanger their own careers, reputations, etc.

This occurs because of the controversial status of prescription desiccated thyroid as an unlicensed medicine. Thus the entire responsibility is on the shoulders of the prescribing doctor.

The fact that the establishment endocrinologists repeatedly claim that there is no place whatsoever for desiccated thyroid - so anyone who does prescribe it must be a rebel, a maverick, irresponsible, dangerous and so is to be suppressed.

Ironically, it is much cheaper for you to buy it on a private prescription (e.g. directly from Erfa in Canada, and ignoring anything paid to the GP for prescribing it) than for the NHS to supply it. When dispensed in this country it is handled by a company such as Idis with consequent high costs and margins.

Note 1: I try always to use the term desiccated thyroid rather than the brand name Armour (or Nature-Throid, Erfa, Thyroid-S or whatever else) - adding 'prescription' and 'porcine' if needed to distinguish it from some of the other 'glandular' or non-prescription products.

Note 2: I am no blind fan of desiccated thyroid. Though I have seen it considerably improve someone near to me, it is not the 100% answer for everyone.

Note 3: There certainly are circumstances in which private prescriptions can be issued by NHS GPs - for example, I think some vaccines and 'holiday medicines' are provided in this way.


Hi Suze

Please can I use your quote in a blog about Armour?




Hi Sally

Please can I use your answer in a blog about Armour?




You may also like...