The only North American maker of desiccated porcine thyroid is working hard

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 11.27.57 AM(This page was originally written in 2009 but it has been updated to the present day and time.)

We always talk about pharmaceuticals which produce our desiccated thyroid medication pills like Forest Labs (Armour) and RLC Labs (Naturethroid and Westhroid).

These are also the pharmaceuticals who provide these pills to the local pharmacies we use.

But there is another important link in the chain that proceeds them–the laboratory that makes the actual porcine powder!

American Laboratories, Inc. (ALI)

ALI is a small and family-owned processing company located in Omaha, Nebraska which was established in 1967 by Mr. Jack Jackson and Mr. William Phalen. They have been making desiccated Porcine Thyroid Powder (which is an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient, API) for over 47 years, as well as 200 natural biologically derived products such as Pancreatin and Pepsin, both digestive enzymes. Their mantra is “Building trust through quality products and service.”

Pertaining to their raw porcine powder, they state:

American Laboratories staff has been dedicated to the manufacture of active Pharmaceutical products for over 47 years, and currently follow all FDA cGMP (21 CFR) requirements or the safe and effective manufacturing of drug products or human consumption. Our stringent raw material quality requirements and highly defined manufacturing process control have aided us in providing category leading status for the drug products that we manufacture.

ALI, as a leading manufacture and supplier of enzyme and natural dried products, is also probably the only North American company to make desiccated thyroid powder. And they will explain that it’s a long and difficult product to make, but they are committed to it. ALI sells product to over 50 countries around the world, as stated below from them!!

Their website underscores:

American Laboratories, Inc. is a family-owned business founded nearly 50 years ago based on our knowledge of providing enzymes, proteins and flavors to various industries. Today, American Laboratories is proud to offer an extensive listing of over 300 products to the Food Processing, Pharmaceutical, Veterinary Health, Nutritional and Diagnostic industries in the United States and over 50 countries around the world. Through our high quality products and customer service, American Laboratories has become an industry-recognized supplier for the products we manufacture.

In August of 2009, I spoke with Kenny Soejoto, the Chief Operating Officer. He explained that supply and demand has been a critical issue, and ALI will be doing everything they can to provide the quality desiccated thyroid powder to pharmaceuticals that they always have. You’ll also see a Press Release come out later today from Kenny and ALI about the issue. I’ll add it below.

The supply and demand issue is outright due to the current patient revolution, represented by STTM and other fine groups and websites, against the sole treatment of hypothyroidism with T4 meds like Synthroid by too many doctors….and in favor of desiccated thyroid as a far better treatment. Demand has grown, and perhaps it caught them by surprise. (That is my comment, by the way, NOT ALI’s.)

Even RLC Labs states that demand for Naturethroid (due to problems with the newly formulated Armour) has quadrupled in the past few weeks. And rightly so! Thyroid patients around the world KNOW FIRSTHAND how much better desiccated thyroid treatment is over T4-only. And word is spreading.

So as we, thyroid patients on desiccated thyroid, face a shortage in 2009, take heart that everyone is working hard to bring supply back to us. 🙂 Also see my post below concerning the bigger issue with Medco, and potential alternatives.


Here’s the Press Release below, and it should calm any fears or panic:

August 19, 2009

To our knowledge, American Laboratories, Inc. is the only manufacturer in North America of Thyroid Products for use in Human Pharmaceuticals as an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient. We have manufactured our Thyroid products for over forty years, and we understand the importance they have to our customers and ultimately the consumer patients. Today, as well as in the future, our Thyroid products will continue to be a strategic part of our business.

Through the years, the world-wide demand for our Thyroid products, as well as our human nutritional enzyme products has increased dramatically. Through careful planning and strict adherence to regulations set forth by the FDA, USDA and other government agencies, we have implemented plans to increase our production capacities. In addition, American Laboratories’ is working closely with our suppliers to help ensure a consistent supply of quality raw materials. We hope that you understand that the process to manufacture the active ingredient takes several months to complete.

Please be assured that we have placed our Thyroid production as our number one priority so that we can meet the demands of our customers.

American Laboratories, Inc
Omaha, Nebraska, USA


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23 Responses to “The only North American maker of desiccated porcine thyroid is working hard”

  1. Laura Treadway

    I also have been using wp thyroid and nature thyroid the past few years. When I first started it worked great since the shortage it’s all changed. Now I have weight gain, loss of hair, very fatigued low energy. It’s just not the same medicine. But I dont know what else to try. Thank you.

  2. Dorothy

    Are there any updates to the raw powder availability?

    I’m hearing from a compound pharmacist that their suppliers don’t have the porcine powder. While the pig shortage due to virus can explain some of the price increase and perhaps contribute to the squeeze on supply, there seems to be no shortage of pork at the supermarkets and these prices didn’t grow at the same rate as our NDT. I can’t find any answers online so I’m assuming there’s no public news about what is really going on.

    RLC Labs statement about the shortage only piqued my curiosity and I wonder about pharmaceutical company collusion with the other companies. I’d love to know who the powder producer is and which company owns them? And why would ALI no longer be in the game?

    Janie, would you do a follow-up to your post? Not trying to be a conspiracy theorist, but things aren’t passing the smell test.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Dorothy, I’ve been doing what I do over 15 years now. And throughout that time, when anything different happens to NDT, out come the suspicions, paranoia and conspiracy theories just as you proposed. And they have NEVER been true. Understand that thanks to Stop the Thyroid Madness followed by other groups who follow mention NDT, the demand has increased. That alone can be why this is happening, not the conspiracies proposed. There is also the possibility of the hands of the FDA, reaching into pharms like RLC and demanding better machinery, has been another problem.

      • Dorothy

        Janie, thanks for your reply. I’m aware of your efforts and hard work over the years to bring awareness and help to others. And I hope the problems with RLC are as simple as increased demand—wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing! As someone who has been dealing with Hashi, thyroid surgery, nodules, cancer scares, low cortisol readings, CFS, multiple allergies, and have taken all of the thyroid meds (with exception of erfa and tirosint) during the past 21 years, this isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve had docs and pharmacists straight up give me blatantly wrong info out of their own ignorance. I’ve been active in thyroid advocacy from a long time ago, and spent many hours researching the FDA and “following the money”. I’ve had many a conversation with RLC over the years and found them to be forthright. I also spoke with ALI in 2008 and they were extremely helpful.

        Why can’t my local compounder (who has an active, long-time practice in NDT) get the raw powder from his suppliers, all of whom are national companies? And yet, one of the largest compounders in the U.S. has plenty of supply. Apparently, some suppliers of NDT can get some of the NDT medications why others can’t. Makes no sense to me. Have you spoken with ALI recently? Companies are being called on the carpet for collusion. Nothing surprises me anymore.

        It would be great if this is just simply a supply issue, but bottom line, some things aren’t sounding right. BTW, so far my transition from WP thyroid to NP thyroid has been seamless—the easiest transition I’ve ever had on a thyroid med. Unfortunately I’m now having to pay the price of one month supply for NP that just several months ago would have been the equivalent of 3 months for WP.

    • Susan

      About 4-5 years ago Smithfield (largest pork producer in U.S.) was bought by CHINA! I had a suspicion our NDT sources would dry up! Smithfield also owns 4 other brands including Kretchmar. I also used to buy Nutri-Meds but their source of pork thyroid dried up about the same time! I don’t think it’s a coincidence!

  3. Hillary Morgan

    Due to the recent major price increase at the pharmacy I buy my Erfa thyroid, I did some research which ultimately led me to call ALI. According to the person answering the phone their company no longer manufactures porcine thyroid powder. They would not disclose who does nor provide any further information.

  4. Simie

    Has anyone ever had the experience of raising a dose of Naturethroid, feeling much better and then, in a few days, have the affect drop off? How long does anyone think one needs to wait for a stable affect? Is desicated thyroid medication cumulative?

    (Patient groups:

  5. Dina

    I’m taking Nutri-med porcine thyroid. It started to work with 4 tablets daily-2 in the morning and 2 at afternoon.
    I still cannot find how to establish this amount in grans
    do to my plan to switch to Armour Erfa for sublinqual taking. If somebody knows, please, help me to establish number of gran for porcine thyroid from Nutri-med.

  6. Wendy Chan

    I tried Armour (years ago and got sick on it), then Nature-Throid (hard to get in Chicago so I had to order from my former L.A. doctor). Now my Integrative Doctor prescribed Thyroid (Porcine) from a compounding pharmacy. I’m trying it for a month and then will see my Chinese herbalist who cautioned me about taking something for my hormonal system for so long. Suggestion: Find a holistic practitioner and do a Urine Halides test which shoed fluoride very high(from not having good filtered water when I was a kid). The thyroid med is the only Rx I take, and I want to be off it soon.
    Wendy in Chicago

  7. Albert Farrens

    One of my wifes doctors has told her that the shortage of porcine thyroid glands is caused by the manufacture of H1N1 vaccine using up the glands. I have not been able to find any confirmation. Does anybody know anything about this?

    From Janie: just read between the lines why you haven’t been able to find confirmation. 🙂

  8. Linda

    I had managed to stock pile Armour of 30, 60, & 90 afew months back when they started releasing it to the pharmacies for a few weeks. I was lucky and it lasted me till now. My doctor perscribed a compound made with Porcine which I will be starting in the morning. I already get my female hormone pill at a compound pharmacy, so I am lucky that they make the compound thyroid as well.

    I am excited to be on the right dose finally. Those of you who have tried to “cut” Armour pills know what I mean (they crumble into small pieces). I was on 1 3/4 grams but cutting them to get that amount was impossible. I gave up and just took the 1.5 grams instead. I suffered and paid for that decision so I hope that these compounded thyroid pills will get me back on track.

    Is anyone else on the compounded thyroid (porcine)? If so how is it working out and do you think you have the same results as when taking Armour?


    • Jeannie

      I just HAD TO buy compounded meds. I cant get WP and it is the only one without stearates. I am deathly allergic. Even my nails get sore within two days and will fall off in 2-3 months. Neck glands swell and HURT. I always chewed and sublingually did my WP – so trying to do so w the compounded capsule. I am exhuasted and find zero gland TASTE in these EXPENSIVE compounded caps. Panicking. I dont think there is any gland in them! $320 !

  9. Jean Lee

    It is now November 25th, and I am not able to get any natural Thyroid (not Armour, Westhroid, Natur-Throid, etc..) here in the US. ERFA in Canada does seem to have some left – I am trying to get some there.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Has anyone tried Nutri Med’s dessicated porcine thyroid? It’s over the counter.

    From Janie: To compare notes with what everyone else is taking, join the Coalition for Desiccated Thyroid.

  10. don carter

    oops. i see the open letter to mary , has an address & phone no’s.

  11. don carter

    everything i’ve read today is good information and i am committed to voicing my opinion “to the powers that be”, such as the FDA,etc. DOES anyone have a complete list of the companies/agencies that i could write to, and or phone. either posted on this site or e-mailed to me? thanks…don

  12. Kim

    If ALI is the only company making Dessicated Thyroid raw materials, then who is supplying Canada?

    Does ERFA in Canada get their supply from ALI?

  13. Deb Raterman

    i finally got a script for Nature-throid from my doc today and the only pharmacy(Sam’s) in our area that had it two weeks ago are completely out of it. i had to get a generic made by Time-Cap Labs. wish we could have alerted RLC labs ahead of time

  14. michele

    they already have synthetic versions. they’re called syncrap and cytomel. i’m amazed at how many who seem to be concerned with their health would rather ingest a chemically produced synthetic …even though they have been found to be a poor substitute to the real deal.

  15. Mike

    They need to research everything that’s in natural thyroid and come out with a synthetic version that has everything the natural thyroid has in it. If it worked the same then it would be a good alternative thyroid med and they could make it faster and vegetarians would feel good about using it. Too bad it will never happen.

  16. Anna

    My pharmacy is limiting refills of Nature-throid to a one month supply at a time to be fair to all customers. So even if I was willing to pay the full price and not use my insurance, I still can only buy a 30 day supply.

  17. Erin

    ALI’s press release is so much more forthcoming than I expected. Kudos to them! And I fervently hope that this surge in Naturethroid users (of which I am one!) will finally make docs and pharm companies WAKE UP!!! T4 only meds suck and are damaging; not only to the body, but to the spirit. Thank you for all you do, Janie!


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