Too many patients, as documented in an on-line study of 12,000 individuals conducted by the American Thyroid Association published in June 2018, (https://doi.org/10.1089/thy.2017.0681) , complain of persistent symptoms of hypothyroidism despite what their doctors believe is successful treatment with levothyroxine (brands include Synthroid, Unithroid, Tirosent, Levoxl). We believe something needs to be done to resolve this conflict between patients and their doctors.
At present, two popular sources of dessicated thyroid products are compounding pharmacies and Canadian pharmacies. Brenda has experience with both and compares them for metabolism.com.
Brenda responds with the following in response to another members comments:
I suspect your doctor is mis-informed. Before I ordered and received my 30 mg Erfa natural dessicated thyroid medicine from Canadadrugs.com, I had the thyroid medicine compounded by my local compounding pharmacy. I still have some. The problem with that approach is it is ridiculously expensive ($39 for 30 doses of 1/4 grain/15 mg equivalent per month) and not covered by insurance. Of course it is an opportunity for the compounding pharmacies, and according to what Iâ€™ve read online, some greedy compounding pharmacies are charging much moreâ€“over $100 per month for the same thing. So far the FDA has made no noise about getting rid of compounding pharmacies. They serve a special need â€” and they are a little pocket of individually made medicines that are not dictated to by the FDA. On a parallel issue, they make bioidentical hormones, which Big Pharma is not happy about either, but the FDA doesnâ€™t say you canâ€™t make them, just that you have to be careful about claims made about them.
The great thing about the Canadian solution is that is it even cheaper than Armour used to be here, and they are regulated by the Canadian equivalent of the FDA. The maker of the Canadian â€œThyroidâ€ is Erfa, a Belgium company, is their niche is finding drugs that are being discontinued by other companies that they believe can be profitable and they have been making drugs since the 30â€™s, so I donâ€™t think they are going to discontinue making it. Iâ€™m sure their plan is to make more! This is the jackpot for them! (If you want to know more about Erfa, and the Canadian version of Armour, go here: http://www.erfa-sa.com/thyroid_en.htm . They bought the brand from Pfizer Canada Inc in 2005 and have been making it since then. They are a Belgium company with a Canadian and international presence who buys and markets niche products from other drug companies that would be discontinued.)
Natural dessicated thyroid medicine is used around the world, so I donâ€™t think it is going away. It is the madness of the FDA in cahoots with the Big Pharma at work in the US that is causing the problem with availability. I believe RLC, the maker of NatureThyroid (another brand of the same thing) here in the US has vowed that they will continue making the drug, even if they have to go through the entire expensive approval process to get it approved by the FDA. Of course that will make it much more costly for us, to be sure, because they will have expended the money to go through that process and they will be the only game in town when the dust settles.
Fortunately, while all this is being sorted out, we have the Canadian option. And it works just fine, and oh yeah, itâ€™s cheaper.