As thyroid patients are not only in angst about a complete shortage of desiccated thyroid in the US, we all have questions and concerns about out future with no definitive answer.
For example, we wonder if the FDA may be requiring clinical studies from pharmaceuticals who make desiccated thyroid to prove that it’s safe and effective (in spite of the fact that patients have been using it safely and effectively for 110 years. Nope, we don’t count. Amazing, isn’t it?) And we wonder: if studies are required, will they be able to afford the studies, which are quite expensive? Will desiccated thyroid continue to be available while the studies go on? And more uncomfortable questions.
The FDA recently replied to a question by thyroid patient Catherine when she asked about the shortages and here’s their reply:
Thank you for writing the Division of Drug Information, in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
We understand your concerns regarding the availability of natural desiccated thyroid products. FDA has NOT taken class action against unapproved thyroid products resulting in a shortage. If a company discontinues manufacturing of an unapproved product, that is a business decision made by the company.
Please refer to the ASHP Shortages website for a listing of desiccated thyroid products that remain available:
We have contacted the companies and RLC (manufacturer of West-Throid and Nature-Throid) is in backorder for all strengths and products for the next 90 days.
Major has the 60mg and 120mg available of their “generic” desiccated thyroid product. They report increased demand as the reason for their backorder for the other strengths.
Forest reports they have the 120mg, 240mg, and 300mg strengths available for their Armour Thyroid products and they report increased demand as the reason for the backorder on their other strengths.
If you and your healthcare provider determine that one of these thyroid products is appropriate for you, you can provide the NDC numbers listed on the ASHP website for these products to your pharmacist so they can order for you.
Drug Information SH
Division of Drug Information
Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
Food and Drug Administration
The interesting thing about the above is that it implies that Major Pharmaceuticals is just on backorder, which goes completely against what patients have reported elsewhere. What’s going on there? Are they using old knowledge? And the larger sizes of Armour? Is anyone finding that at the pharmacies right now? Very curious. Interesting the comment about RLC, the makers of Naturethroid. And the link to shortages is interesting, though from the end of July.
Whatever the answers are, if you need a treatment to get you through this difficult time, here are options for thyroid treatment. And it still may be a very good idea to inform your congresspersons of our situation…just in case. See my blog post below.
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