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Mary Shomon

Is This the End for Natural Desiccated Thyroid Drugs?

By August 26, 2009

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I feel like this story is dripping out, bit by bit, and patients are always the last to know. In fact, I'm beginning to think that that Medco may have known exactly what was going on all along, and they were privy to backdoor FDA information that we consumers don't get to hear.

Major Pharmaceuticals has put out a press release saying that they've been forced to shut down all desiccated thyroid production. They received notice from the FDA that their complete line of natural desiccated thyroid drugs can no longer be manufactured, and that the FDA is pulling the designation that allowed them to sell these drugs.

Major is also saying that the FDA is requiring that all manufacturers that wish to continue manufacturing submit an NDA — New Drug Application — or Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for approval.

So we have no Biotech, no Major, no TimeCap Labs, a severe shortage of the Thyroid USP raw material, no Armour -- with no date for Armour to be back on the market -- and no Nature-Throid/Westhroid -- with a 90-day date for Nature-Throid/Westhroid to be back on the market.

Has the FDA contacted RLC Labs and Forest regarding an NDA or ANDA for Nature-Throid and Westhroid?

Are we soon going to hear that Armour is never coming back on the market -- and that Forest is out of the natural desiccated thyroid business completely -- or, less likely, is filing an NDA or ANDA? Are we going to hear that RLC is out of the NDT business, or filing an NDA or ANDA that could take years for approval?

RLC and Forest are the last players in the natural desiccated thyroid business in the U.S.

I have a call into the FDA -- the spokesperson there said she'd have to get more info and "get back to me" -- not holding my breath -- but she said that while they can't talk about NDAs (since when?) -- the requirement for natural dessicated thyroid to go through an NDA is "probably part of the unapproved drugs initiative."

Is it the end of the line for natural desiccated thyroid drugs?

Talk about it in the Thyroid Forum or combine efforts with other thyroid patients at Save Natural Thyroid.

The Armour Thyroid and Nature-Throid Shortage Information Center

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Comments
August 26, 2009 at 5:11 pm
(1) Cindi Straughn says:

No, this can not happen!

For those wanting to take some action to try to make sure our desiccated thyroid extract isn’t banned by the FDA, I suggest writing the FDA and your elected state representatives and senators (as a first step – I’m looking into other health advocacy avenues). If anyone does plan to write, and were previously on a synthetic T4 med, it probably would be helpful to outline your experience with that.

Although I wasn’t exactly sure WHO to write in the FDA, I used this contact link which lets you email. If anyone thinks it should be going elsewhere at the FDA, let me know.
http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/CDER/ContactCDER/default.htm

This contact form also let me link to Mary’s blog article which I referenced:
http://thyroid.about.com/b/2009/08/19/fda-desiccated-thyroid-armour-nature-throid.htm

To find your state house represenatives and senators, just google “contact representative…or senator. Most of them have a web site that probably has an email contact form.

Here’s my letter:
I am writing to express my deep fear and concern that the life-saving medication I have taken since 2004, desiccated thyroid extract (e.g. Armour, Nature-throid) for my autoimmune thyroid disease/hypothyroidism might be taken off the market by the FDA. It is a terrible thing to live daily wondering if a medication that keeps you alive and well is going to be taken away from you; and that you will e returned to a life of misery and illness or even death.

It is true that desiccated thyroid extract is not the first line of treatment for hypothyroidism even though it has been used safely and effectively for over 100 years. The usual recommended treatment for hypothyroidism is synthetic T4, levothyroxine. I would speculate that this recommendation is in part tainted by pharmaceutical influence however I am not writing to discuss that. What is important to understand is that for thousands and thousands of hypothyroid patients, synthetic thyroid hormone medications leave us with hypothyroidism symptoms and a greatly diminished quality of life. It just seems critical that inexpensive desiccated thyroid extract that has positively changed so many lives not be banned because the pharmaceutical companies have a greater interest in promoting the more profitable synthetic thyroid hormone product.

It is unfortunate that the vast amount of old medical literature on desiccated thyroid extract is ignored as well as more current observational studies and experiences of those who use desiccated thyroid extract. Thank goodness there are some physicians who understand that desiccated thyroid extract may be a far superior hypothyroidism treatment for their patients. Far too many physicians do not even offer the option. So the synthetics may end up being profitable for the medical profession in many ways due to increased physician visits for illness, unnecessary testing for symptoms that are actually due to undertreated hypothyroidism, medications for symptoms not relieved by the synthetic thyroid hormone medication, etc. This just highlights that health care reform, if truly concerned with lowering medical costs, should take a good hard look at offering desiccated thyroid extract as a viable option for hypothyroidism when synthetic thyroid hormone medication leaves the patient symptomatic.

I have linked a blog entry by Mary Shomon, national thyroid patient advocate, entitled “Is the FDA Planning to Get Rid of Desiccated Thyroid Drugs like Armour and Nature-throid”. It outlines why hypothyroid patients across the nation are now in a panic as they speculate that their good and productive days might be numbered. This is just my statement to the FDA and my government representatives that desiccated thyroid extract is the ONLY medication option that works for some hypothyroid patients and that it may well be a superior hypothyroidism medication for many if only their physicians would offer the option. I am pleading with those who receive this letter to do whatever is in your power to make sure that desiccated thyroid extract is not banned by the FDA. I want to continue to live well and joyfully and it is this medication that has allowed me to do so. Without it, quite honestly, I’m probably a dead woman.

August 26, 2009 at 6:29 pm
(2) gina says:

Mary, regarding the spokeswoman who said “they can’t talk about NDAs”, I found this document: “Availability for public disclosure of data and information in an application or abbreviated application.”

Of course, it’s in legalese, but this seems to be the relevant section: “(b) FDA will not publicly disclose the existence of an application or abbreviated application before an approvable letter is sent to the applicant under § 314.110, unless the existence of the application or abbreviated application has been previously publicly disclosed
or acknowledged. The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research will maintain and make available for public disclosure a list of applications or abbreviated applications for which the agency
has sent an approvable letter to the applicant.

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2003/aprqtr/pdf/21cfr314.430.pdf

August 26, 2009 at 6:55 pm
(3) Barb says:

Is it the end of the line for natural desiccated thyroid drugs?

I think the handwriting is on the wall and those who are recommending we not panic have their heads in the sand. Synthetics are FAR more profitable than natural drugs. And Forest already makes Levothroid, a synthetic T-4 drug, so they may actually benefit by consolidating their product line.

Earlier this year, doctors in the UK were basically prohibited from prescribing any dessicated thyroid and forced to prescribe ONLY synthetic drugs. Why shouldn’t a similar policy for the US be next? And WHO, I want to know, is behind this conspiracy?

FYI, my husband could not get any dessicated so he is now taking T4 and T3 and seems to be doing ok (6th day). My BIGGEST fear is if the powers that be eliminate T3 next.

August 26, 2009 at 6:56 pm
(4) Lethal Lee says:

What I would like to know is why Dessicated Thyroid isnt being given the same courtesy as shown to Levothyroxine?

When the FDA decided that T4 drugs had to be approved as “new drugs” sevaral yeasr ago they were given quite a few years to go through this process.
I remember Synthroid was the LAST to get thier approval & while all this was going on they were allowed to keep making & selling T4 as it was an “essential” drug!!!!!

Why is Dessicated Thyroid being treated so differently? Is it because the companies making it just dont have the money required to fund the FDA approval process?

August 26, 2009 at 10:34 pm
(5) suzanne says:

I am grateful that I have not yet entered the world of Nature-Throid. I guess I won’t know what I am missing (at least for now). What I am bummed about is is that I had a specific plan to go to a hormone specialist that I know prescribes natural thyroid on October 1st. I’m disappointed that the hope I had of feeling better will have to be delayed indefinetely. Now I guess I will ask my endo next week for a prescription of Cytomel to go with my Synthroid. I did not want to go this route because I have GERD and all kinds of food allergies, and I’ve heard Cytomel is full of allergin fillers. I guess I will also ask for Synthroid’s more hypoallergetic partner in crime Levoxyl. I suppose Levoxyl and Cytomel will help me to sustain life (which I barely feel like I am doing now) until I ever have the priviledge to try natural thyroid. In the meantime, I want to thank you Mary for lighting this fire under my advocacy rear end. I am going to obtain a list of legislators in my state and start writing letters to appeal to their sense of reason. Furthermore,if there needs to be a national movement, count me in! My sincerest empathy to those happily taking natural thyroid who may be denied their prescriptions in the near future. We will get through this- together, with our convictions, with our testimonials and with our strength.

August 27, 2009 at 3:01 am
(6) Dito says:

Argh, why don´t these NDT makers work together on this?!

August 27, 2009 at 5:01 am
(7) lou says:

Come on Americans, where’s your fighting talk? Why don’t you threaten them with a class action suit? If your health is ruined by syncrap, surely you have a case?

August 27, 2009 at 7:37 am
(8) JennyFreeman says:

A recent state govt (I am in australia) announced tghey were going to sell off essential services. An electric trade union took out Billboard ads, with web site address for people to send messages and sign petitions. The media was contected. Within 3 months the state givt has done a backflip and announced they wont be selling off water.rail etc (well for now)

Do NOT underestimate the power of grass roots –

What about a Class Action, lives will be put at risk, What about Human Rights – the right to proper and appropriate health treatment.
Its like removing insulin from diabetics.

In UK after recent Hypo Guidelines, only ‘specialist’ Endos are ‘allowed’ to script T3, not even ordinary endos !!!!!

Its time to organise and shout out loud

August 27, 2009 at 1:29 pm
(9) margaret says:

Jenny Freeman says…
“Its like removing insulin from diabetics.”

Actually there is a precedent for this.

Some years ago, there was a move to stop the production of bovine/porcine insulin.

Insulin-dependent diabetics were moved over to synthetic insulin and were told there was no difference. Some became very ill and lost their hypo awareness (a potentially fatal situation).

Campaining by the likes of IDDT, patients and sympathetic doctors led to the continued production of porcine/bovine insulins.

The difference between our situation and that of animal insulin users is that our ongoing symptoms on Syncrap are easily written off as menopausal/psychosomatic/women’s issues whereas doctors find it hard to ignore someone who’s gone into a diabetic coma due to hypo unawareness.

Still we can hope.

August 27, 2009 at 1:58 pm
(10) gina says:

Margaret, I believe you are absolutely correct; sexism has been and continues to be the biggest factor in all that is wrong with thyroid diagnosis and treatment.

August 27, 2009 at 2:21 pm
(11) Linda says:

Could this be related to the huge conglomerate farms that are raising livestock, pigs included, in awful conditions? Huge amounts of antibiotics are used to try to prevent disease in the livestock, but the animals aren’t ‘healthy’ under these living conditions. Is there fear that the antibiotics or diseases from the swine will be carried over into the natural drugs? If so, how about standards regarding the raising of swine for medications so that those who do much better on the natural hormones don’t need to give it up?

August 27, 2009 at 3:30 pm
(12) Susan says:

I have just been through a terrible process to re-fill my prescription for Armour Thyroid on the East Coast. My doctor made a prescription for Nature Thyroid but no pharmacy could fill it. Luckily my doctor in Florida was able to re-fill with a pharmacy there who actually had Armour in stock. This leaves me with only a month’s supply and the possibility that I’ll need more when my blood test results come in the next couple of days. I’m frustrated beyond belief.

I think it’s time for anyone who has been affected by this shortage or conspiracy to contact their legislators and ask for help with the problem. We are dealing with the legislative system here, heavily lobbied by the pharmaceutical industry and someone has to stand up for what has been working for people for so many years before synthetics were ever discovered.

Contact your congressman and senator about the problem. Then I think I’m going to try Canada or someplace else!

August 27, 2009 at 10:23 pm
(13) dorothy says:

We have a HUGE problem here.

The chair of the FDA’s advisory committee on endocrinological and metabolic drugs is Kenneth D. Burman, M.D. If you google him, you’ll find he has significant ties to Abbott labs (synthroid)—-speaker/advisor/funded his research. He is also the president of the American Thyroid Association and is listed on AACE’s website. Abbott was, by far, the largest contributor to ATA $704,739 in 2008 (Levoxyl’s owner King Pharmaceuticals provided $25,000) http://www.thyroid.org/about/documents/990-2008.pdf

http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/Drugs/EndocrinologicandMetabolicDrugsAdvisoryCommittee/ucm096416.htm

Dr Mary Parks is the director of the Endo/Metabolic Division of the FDA. She is a grad of Georgetown Univ Med School where Dr. Burman is a professor. Here’s her FDA patient brochere on thyroid treatment which only advocates T4 and specifically mentions the brand names of synthroid, levoxyl,and levothroid. You’ll notice a link at the end of the brochure to AACE’s website.
http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm107377.htm

Finally, this AACE statement on the conflict of interest doesn’t do much to alleviate my concerns.

http://www.aace.com/membership/policy/disclosures.php
http://www.aace.com/org/cap/capdirectory.php

If you go to page 13 of the minutes of the 4/09 FDA endo/metabolic committe meeting, you’ll read their statement about conflict of interest. There is something terribly wrong about all of this.

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/Drugs/EndocrinologicandMetabolicDrugsAdvisoryCommittee/UCM151176.pdf

We should all be deeply concerned about what’s going on here. Our health interests are not the ones being protected.

August 28, 2009 at 2:47 am
(14) dorothy says:

All of the following comes from the FDA, ATA, & AACE websites:

The Chair of the FDA endocrinologic and metabolic drugs advisory committe is Dr. Kenneth Burman. He is the president of the American Thyroid Association, has info on The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists’ website, and has a relationship with Abbott labs (speaker/advisor/received research funding). This committe votes and helps make decisions affecting all of us.

In their 2008 tax return, ATA documents $704,739 in contributions from Abbott (the next highest contributor was genzyme with $198,500). AACE also reports Abbott and Forest as contributors.

Dr. Mary Parks is the Director of the FDA’s division of endo/metabol drug products. She is a grad of Georgetown Univ. med school, where Dr. Burman is/was a professor. On the FDA website, she has a patient brochere on thyroid disease and the only treatment she lists for hypothyroidism is T4. She specifically mentions synthroid, levoxyl, and levothroid as the “brand names” for T4. She also includes a link a AACE website.

Both AACE and the FDA endo/metabol drug committe address the issue of conflict of interest and the relationships of physician/government/industry on their websites. AACE states “there is no inherent conflict of interest” while the FDA makes allowances for their voting committee members having financial ties with outside companies (ie, the expertise that the member has is so needed that it supercedes any potential conflict of interest).

I find all of this quite concerning, particularly since there is no research to back up AACE, ATA, and, apparently, the FDA’s belief that synthetic T4 is superior to armour/naturethroid, that so many of us became ill on T4, and that the T4 products are costing our health insurance more than the cheaper dessicated thyroid meds (of which typically aren’t on most insurance formulary lists).

I have an idea: Let’s really waste some insurance/public resources by going on T4, getting sick, taking lots of medical tests and office visits, consuming more medicine to counteract the effects of T4, and then end up on public assistance or disability because we can’t function. It absolutely floors me that we cannot get the medicine we need because those in power don’t believe we are struggling on synthetics and are teaching scads of others the same thing. The are SUPPOSED to be in medicine to help us, not push their own agendas.

August 28, 2009 at 4:06 am
(15) anita roberts says:

i have an idea, why don’t WE get involved on a much more physical level. there are a gazillion of us. why can’t we put together a physical presence. why do we keep taking this crap from these ppl. i will fly back to the US to be involved. let’s do something. i’m ready to act. this is OUR lives, we know better than some random guy in the FDA.
what can we REALLY do??? c’mon. let’s think of something!!

August 28, 2009 at 6:29 am
(16) Renee says:

This needs to be on TV, radio, and in the papers as well as contacting congresspeople

August 28, 2009 at 8:24 am
(17) Mary G says:

I will be contacting the American Association for Health Freedom today to ask for their assistance. They are a lobbying group that exists to make sure health professionals are not hamstrung by the FDA or Congress from helping their patients.

I agree with JennyFreeman and Margaret. I think it is about time we stormed the Citadel, in this case, the White House and the FDA with lots of letters and any lobbying assistance we can get in an effort to turn this thing around. I am also planning to talk with Forest Labs today to determine
what the company would find helpful.

I’ll post back again when I have information to share.

August 28, 2009 at 8:49 am
(18) Mary says:

It’s bad enough the government and the money hungry pharmaceutical companies continue to take our choices away but this decision could take lives that you will not read about. I tried all the synthetic drugs and was in tremendous pain because of a misunderstood condition called Interstitial Cystitis. It’s an individual thing, some patients can tolerate the synthetic drugs and some can’t.
My bladder felt like there was razor blades with pressure and urgency every 10 minutes. When I run out of my armour thyroid I will stop taking thyroid hormone…………! THIS IS SERIOUS, I will eventually die without the natural products.

August 28, 2009 at 8:56 am
(19) Richard V says:

I have sent the following comment via email to the White House:

Mr. President;

I am very concerned over the prospect of the FDA forcing Natural Thyroid drugs that have been in existence for over 100 years off the market. This is yet another example of the “free market” breaking down whereby large powerful monopolistic companies such as pharmaceuticals are able to exert their unbridled power with Congress and Federal agencies to benefit their own monetary interests at the detriment of Consumers. There are already severe shortages of Natural Thyroid drugs and many people on these drugs have adverse side effects when using the more expensive synthetic alternatives hawked by the powerful drug companies. Can the White House take immediate LEGAL INJUNCTIVE ACTION to protect consumers like myself that depend on Natural Thyroid drugs prescribed by licensed physicians? Many people are in DESPERATION MODE! PLEASE HELP! The following link is to provide basic background information on this issue:

http://thyroid.about.com/b/2009/08/26/end-natural-thyroid.htm?nl=1

Thank you.

I suggest everyone do the same IMMEDIATELY! The White House link is: http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/
Use your own words or feel free to cut and paste mine. The important thing is to DO IT because due to the large volume of emails received each day they have to get flooded in order for us to be noticed.

August 28, 2009 at 9:25 am
(20) Richard V says:

This is the message I sent via email to the White House:

Mr. President;

I am very concerned over the prospect of the FDA forcing Natural Thyroid drugs that have been in existence for over 100 years off the market. This is yet another example of the “free market” breaking down whereby large powerful monopolistic companies such as pharmaceuticals are able to exert their unbridled power with Congress and Federal agencies to benefit their own monetary interests to the detriment of Consumers. There are already severe shortages of Natural Thyroid drugs and many people on these drugs have adverse side effects when using the more expensive synthetic alternatives hawked by the powerful drug companies. Can the White House take immediate LEGAL INJUNCTIVE ACTION to protect consumers like myself that depend on Natural Thyroid drugs prescribed by licensed physicians? Many people are in DESPERATION MODE! PLEASE HELP! The following link is to provide basic background information on this issue:

http://thyroid.about.com/b/2009/08/26/end-natural-thyroid.htm?nl=1

Thank you.

I strongly suggest everyone do the same. The link to the White house is: http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/
Please send a message immediately as they need to get flooded in order for us to be heard. If you are pressed for time feel free to cut and paste my words if you like.

August 28, 2009 at 10:50 am
(21) Celia says:

I will lose my will to live if I am forced to take Synthroid again, even if my body can spit out the correct lab ranges that endocrinologists demand. Please, do not let this happen!

August 28, 2009 at 11:03 am
(22) HLA says:

Here is the link to contact the FDA.

http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/CDER/ContactCDER/default.htm

I say start typing! Maybe they will take this seriously if their inbox is ready to blow up!

August 28, 2009 at 11:19 am
(23) DaveK says:

Dont worry people, even if they take desiccated thyrod off the prescription market, they can still make it in OTC supplements. In fact, RLC labs makes a product called Hypo Support Formula that contains 15mcg of T3 per capsule and it is OTC.
I know it sounds backwards but the OTC products are premitted to be sold as long as there is no T4 in it. (T3 is the active thyroid)
Also, people dont act helpless. Write your senator, do something. Start practicing activism. Dont practive slacktivism, like putting a bumber sticker on your car and just complaining.

August 28, 2009 at 11:22 am
(24) radelady says:

Mary (comment 16), I’ve had problems with IC as well in the past. Are you saying there is some connection between IC and synthetic thyroid drugs? Or IC and thyroid disorders?

August 28, 2009 at 11:25 am
(25) radelady says:

DaveK, It’s not getting the T3 that’s a problem – we can still get Cytomel. It’s having to take synthetic T4 instead of a dessicated product that makes many of us feel bad.

August 28, 2009 at 12:38 pm
(26) Lindy says:

Mary,
You need to stoke a grassroots CAMPAIGN which involves every patient affected to write, e-mail and telephone their congressman and senator. All those with severe hypothyroidism who depend on Armour to LIVE need to visit their representative in person, and if they can’t do that make a video documentary of themselves becoming sick due to the FDA’s action. Perhaps we could put these videos up on y-tube. The FDA needs to be held accountable and put in a bad light in a very public way.

August 28, 2009 at 1:03 pm
(27) Jennifer says:

Hey Everyone,
Given everything I’ve been reading I started to panic a little, as I have been taking natural thyroid (Westhroid and NatureThroid) for 10 years and feel really good and normal. This was certainly not the case when I wasn’t medicated and I do NOT want to take synthroid. So I called RLC Labs this morning where they make Westhroid and Naturethroid and they said this is specifically an issue with Armour, not with all natural thyroid meds. Because Armour is off the list for options, many many people now are ordering/taking RLC products. Which is why they are back-ordered. They are producing around the clock and say they will have enough in 90 days, so be patient. When I asked about the information posted here regarding the FDA etc they said that there are a lot of rumors that are started on the web that simply aren’t true. Call them yourself to find out. I think it’s still worth lobbying our elected officials, however, because we shouldn’t have to live in fear that someone will take our life-saving meds away. That’s just crazy.

August 28, 2009 at 1:28 pm
(28) gm says:

radelady(20), Yes there is a connection between thyroid disorders and bladder problems. I think there is so little awareness because of the embarrassing nature of the problem. I wasn’t dx’ed w/ IC – or anything else that fit – but I was on pricey meds for “overactive bladder” for over a year, before I concluded they weren’t helping at all. I had periods of every-10-minutes urgency, pain, and a constant leak. MY GP dismissed it as peri, altho the urologist said my symptoms were NOT consistent w/ typical peri bladder issues. I was dx’ed w/ hashi several months after my bladder problems started. However, in the usual story, I was first denied meds, then under-medicated. The good news: three tears later, finally on an adequate dose of armour, no more bladder trouble! My theory is that it was a form of autonomic peripheral neuropathy. Google it; it’s usually associated w/ diabetes, but I think endos have missed the boat in not making the thyroid connection as well.

August 28, 2009 at 1:38 pm
(29) gm says:

correction to my previous post (24):

i meant “three years later”, not “three tears later”.

(unfortunately, it was MANY tears later …)

August 28, 2009 at 2:02 pm
(30) ItsAMysteryNY says:

According to a Pharmacology list of 2007, Armour thyroid was listed at #101 of the top 200 drugs. It’s sales went up 17% that year. Forest is a big pharmaceutical; they can afford the process and keep everybody happy.

August 28, 2009 at 2:10 pm
(31) Lindy says:

The kid gloves need to come off. We’re dealing with some serious issues deserving of a lawsuit(s). The actions proposed by a few are akin to murder and these individuals need to be held accountable. Line by line we have:

1. Reckless endangerment of lives by FDA officials by the removal of natural thyroid medicine from the market
2. Conflict of interest, likely violation of existing laws
3. Possible criminal behavior on the part of officials and others

If for some reason there are no laws on the books with which to sue these people, then we as a group need to ask Congress to criminalize this type of behavior that endangers the lives of some thyroid patients. As a group some actions that are needed:
1. Full documentation (and videotaping) of members becoming sick due to lack of Armour. We need a paper trail to support some lawsuits.
2. Asking Congress to pass laws to criminalize these type of actions by the FDA and others
3. Getting in touch with the Republican party to complain about the FDA and how it needs to be seriously cleaned up. Obama has publicly criticized the FDA also, saying it doesn’t even work like it’s supposed to.

Gals (and guys) what do you think? We need to take some very serious action and hold some people accountable.

August 28, 2009 at 3:19 pm
(32) kris says:

Here is the white house email page. at least there is a guy in that house who claims to stay in touch with ordinary people.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/

or here is the page for emailing congress (all 538)
http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/

August 28, 2009 at 3:49 pm
(33) Megan says:

Perhaps we are overreacting a bit here. We have no official word that the FDA is requiring natural thyroid drugs to go through the approval process, and it is possible that the larger pharmaceutical companies such as Forest and RLC are in cohoots with the FDA in shutting down small manufacturers of natural thyroid drugs just so they can retain the monopoly. In any case, we are not powerless. Write your representatives in Congress AND have your DOCTOR write them. Let them know that messing with this drug affects the lives of patients who have been on them for years, and it indeed interferes with the doctor/patient relationship. Doctors must tell the FDA that this is a drug absolutely essential to their patients’ health. If the FDA is attempting to remove natural thyroid products from the market by requiring a new drug approval, we have the power to stop it with an organized outcry.
Don’t mourn – organize!

August 29, 2009 at 10:22 am
(34) Jasmine456 says:

I want to know what we can do to stop this. I have suffered the effects of synthetic treatment and then found Armour, then when they reformulated Armour went to NatureThyroid and am finally feeling good. I am not willing to go back to synthetic treatment. I was miserable with the side effects and am ready to find an attorney and start the process of a Class Action Lawsuit. My health is in serious jeopardy if I am forced to take a synthetic form of treatment. I have no health insurance and cannot afford to combine the expensive “name brand” drugs and visits to the endo are beyond my budget. NatureThyroid has been my miracle. Anyone know what kind of attorney would consider a suit like this? If so, let’s get the ball rolling!!! My entire existence is in jeopardy. I have serious, serious side effects taking synthetic treatments. WE NEED TO TAKE ACTION NOW!!!!

August 30, 2009 at 10:07 pm
(35) Dianne says:

Yes, we must organize. In the meantime, all of us must write to ALL news agencies, print and TV, local and national, commentators, political comedians, AND anyone else you can think of. Furthermore, write and call, put pressure on ALL politicians likely to listen. Calling is much more effective. Target female politicians particularly; this is important: thyroid sufferers are likely to be WOMEN, often somewhat overweight, and usually not 20 year old babes. So we are a group that some might feel justified in denigrating or pushing around, without repercussions. We can tag this as a “feminist” discrimination issue. “So they don’t care if our lives are ruined because we are women”. Each of us has 2 Senators, a Congressperson, State legislator, and the Executive branch of government. These people want to be reelected.

August 30, 2009 at 11:04 pm
(36) Dianne says:

Just by accident, I flipped a couple of pages back to Mary’s post about Canadian thyroid. She mentioned “Save Natural thyroid”. Maybe some of you also missed the post:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Natural-Thyroid/121680434089
This could be another tool for our quiver, in addition to what we have all said above.

September 4, 2009 at 3:06 pm
(37) Kim says:

someone tell me how to get a letter to my congressman and complain…i am living proof that natural works and synthetic does not!!!!! I am ready to fight for my rights as an american citizen to be able to choose the best medicine for me…with all the talk of organic this and healthy that how can they just pull this off the market…i am up for joining any type of suit or sighning any petitions…i may start one myself if i find out how…richertkim@wmconnect.com is my e-mail if anyone has info on how to get something started

September 4, 2009 at 3:13 pm
(38) kim says:

one more comment…someone with good writting skills needs to address a letter to Oprah…and other daytime talkshow host and get them involved in the fight…this is about our american rights to freedom in my opinion…i would but my skills suck…i will be glad to send it and stand behind it..

September 4, 2009 at 9:56 pm
(39) Jilly says:

You all CAN fight from grass roots level. Those of us, in NZ, have proved this. GSK changed the formula of Eltroxin, knowing it had really dire side effects and it was released anyway onto us unsuspecting patients, even the Drs and chemists were totally unaware.

After months of reporting to CARM, complaining to Dr’s writing to Medsafe, Pharmac and MP’s, getting the situation onto the news reports, Pharmac finally approved Goldshield to be subidized, and more recently Synthroid.

The power of the people won out – but it took time and effort. You CAN fight.

September 6, 2009 at 2:25 am
(40) pooky says:

They don’t get it. I will absolutely die without this med. I don’t want to go back to my “seizures” (yes I had them before armour and vanished when I started taking it). I can’t go back to the horrid unbearable state I was in before!

September 7, 2009 at 7:50 am
(41) R. Murray says:

I think someone may have incorrect information. Either the majority of us or my doctor.

He says the reason for the shortage of natural thyroid drugs has nothing to do with the FDA etc. But a shortage of corn. So much corn has been used for Bio-Fuel the last two years farmers have had to reduce their livestock that feed off corn (Pigs). The reduction of pigs has led to the reduction of pig thyroid, the main ingredient for Armour, Nature-throid etc.

In his eyes this was great news as he is against all natural thyroid drugs. He was even hoping they get eradicated soon due to the shortage.

September 21, 2009 at 10:54 pm
(42) Laura says:

Richard- I took your letter, edited and added to it. Hope you like it!

“Mr. President;

I am very concerned over the prospect of the FDA forcing NATURAL thyroid drugs that have been in existence for over 100 years off the market. This is yet another example of the “free market” breaking down whereby large powerful monopolistic companies (Big Pharma) are able to exert their unbridled power over Congress and Federal agencies to benefit their own monetary interests at the detriment of our citizens. There are currently severe shortages of NATURAL thyroid drugs and many people on these drugs have adverse side effects when using the more expensive synthetic alternatives being shoved down our throats by the powerful drug companies.

The White House must take immediate LEGAL INJUNCTIVE ACTION to protect consumers like so many that depend on natural thyroid drugs prescribed by licensed physicians! Thousands are in DESPERATION MODE! PLEASE HELP! The following link is to provide basic background information on this issue:

http://thyroid.about.com/b/2009/08/26/end-natural-thyroid.htm?nl=1

I do not take natural thyroid drugs, but I fear that if we lose this battle for medical freedom, not only will people DIE, but we will also begin losing other small medical freedoms. I want to be able to take aspirin when I get headaches and I want to be able to refuse to pump toxic vaccines, which Big Pharma tries to mislead me into thinking will actually protect me from the man made diseases it proliferates in the first place, into my body.

In addition, I demand that Margaret Hamburg be recused from her position because of her decision to not only promote mercury fillings to unsuspecting patients but because she also refuses to let consumers know they contain mercury in the first place! How is it fair to take away a medical decision from a U.S. citizen because of another’s desire for monetary gain? Hamburg is blatantly ignoring medical facts so that she can collect money from the sale of options on the number one supplier of mercury amalgam in America! This is in-your-face corruption as I see it. She must be stopped! If she did it once; she will do it again.

Thank you.”

*** To all those on this board, I want to let you know that I’m not above picketing the FDA. I live near D.C. and would love to bring important things like this to light. At least, if the government won’t listen, maybe the news stations will…

September 21, 2009 at 11:00 pm
(43) Laura says:

Richard- I took your letter, edited and added to it. I’ve pasted what I added below. Hope you like it!

“I do not take natural thyroid drugs, but I fear that if we lose this battle for medical freedom, not only will people DIE, but we will also begin losing other small medical freedoms. I want to be able to take aspirin when I get headaches and I want to be able to refuse to pump toxic vaccines, which Big Pharma tries to mislead me into thinking will actually protect me from the man made diseases it proliferates in the first place, into my body.

In addition, I demand that Margaret Hamburg be recused from her position because of her decision to not only promote mercury fillings to unsuspecting patients but because she also refuses to let consumers know they contain mercury in the first place! How is it fair to take away a medical decision from a U.S. citizen because of another’s desire for monetary gain? Hamburg is blatantly ignoring medical facts so that she can collect money from the sale of options on the number one supplier of mercury amalgam in America! This is in-your-face corruption as I see it. She must be stopped! If she did it once; she will do it again.

Thank you.”

*** To all those on this board, I want to let you know that I’m not above picketing the FDA. I live near D.C. and would love to bring important things like this to light. At least, if the government won’t listen, maybe the news stations will…

September 24, 2009 at 12:34 pm
(44) Susan says:

I am very upset and disappionted in the way we have all been treated. I also wrote to the white house. But I feel that maybe we do need to take further action. Are we as sufferers able to start a class action against these companies if so lets start a petition or do what we have to to get the ball rolling and have our voices heard.

I can not imagine my life without my meds. Ignorant people say oh its just a weight thing. NO PEOPLE IT IS NOT!!!!!! How many know what I am talking about. This is our liveliness. For the first time ever I felt a sense of NORMALICY on this medication. I was diagnosed at 17 and now I am 33 all of these years I have never felt okay. Until my doctor put me on the armour thyroid. Finally a change!!! Amen.

No you go and take it away from us. Thats like teasing a child with candy, except the child will not die without it!!! I am so angry and upset. How are we to ever feel better if we keep flip flopping back and forth on theses drugs because of what they are doing to us. Who will be responsible for us???

I say we take it into our own hands and fight back. I do not see many other choices here. All of these companies are giving different explanations as to why and whats happening. This is crazy. Hello, we are human beings, allow us to live properly please.

Fianl thought do any of the people who work in these companies have hypothyroid issues, do they even understand, what about the people questioning all of this from the FDA, do any of you? If so you should be ashamed of yourselves.

October 2, 2009 at 10:45 am
(45) Kathy OMeal says:

FDA has no plan to force Forrest Labs to comply with approval process! They did go after TINE Labs because of their crap manufacturing…they should go after TINE for the infractions…they were unforgivable. The real bad guys in this are Particular medical MD’s and Forrest Labs.

I also heard of an alraming number of deaths recently reported to FDA medwatch concerning dessicated thyroid….I do not know how this happened or what product…I just faxed a freedom of info query on this…..will post….I am guessing it is due to numbers of people trying to self medicate with the OTC T3 stuff…..

WHY WONT FOREST APPLY FOR APPROVAL? They have other drugs approved….

I am not so underinformed as to believe it is money!
WHat is Forest hiding? They even lied about FDA and reformulating product. FDA had nothing to do with it as they are not regulated by FDA on Armour thyroid. DO they think we are stupid???

I did talk with raw pig thyroid suppliers….it was nothing more than a huge increase in people wanting to switch to Armour and others that caused an abrupt shortage! There is a 2% increase in selling swine to Mexico (they cant be too worried about infected pgis now are they!!! Neither SHould we!), but they say this is insignificant. It takes a long time to manufacture adn test this stuff…..they are almost caught up now but it will still take quite a while to get the stuff made and tested….

March 9, 2010 at 6:26 am
(46) Laura12345 says:

Two and a half years ago, I had been trying to get my thyroid supplement and called Major Pharmaceuticals. They talked about what the FDA was getting ready to do: make everyone submit the new NDA’s. There was simply no way they could do that, too much money, etc.
I called the FDA and evidently got a hold of someone who shouldn’t have been talking to me because she absolutely confirmed that the FDA was going to make all these companies manufacturing dessicated thyroid submit new NDA’s and she also admitted that they knew the companies wouldn’t be able to do that. I asked her what all of us who don’t do well on synthetic replacement were supposed to do and she basically said that wasn’t the FDA’s problem. This was going to happen and there was nothing we could do about it. Nothing.
I contacted state and local reps in my home state. I contacted senators from other states that had a history of liberal thinking where medicine is concerned. Nothing. My own reps never returned my calls and emails. One senator from Vermont got back to me to tell me there was nothing he could do.
I came to blogs and yahoo groups and left messages telling what I’d found out. That we were quietly and steadily going to lose our dessicated thyroid. I was shot down all around. I got angry, cursing, flaming insults on one particular yahoo group. I was accused of trying to scare people. They’d all seen this before. I had one woman contact me privately and we both tried to get to the bottom of this. She found the same thing I did and she was scared to death. She cannot function at all on the synthetics. Her doctor loved dessicated thyroid and her doc even did some investigation.
I had given this woman the phone number of my FDA contact. After that woman and her doctor contacted this FDA woman—she clammed up and would no longer talk to any of us. I’m sure she got in trouble for it.
I’ve been trying to warn you people for a long time this was coming and I do understand that there HAVE been rumors in the past, but I had a contact at the FDA—name and number—telling us this was going to happen and every one shot me down.
So, it’s happening.
I have no idea how bad this will be. I pray for all of us. This is wrong.
A one hundred year old drug that’s inexpensive and that has worked for probably millions of people throughout the years and we’re cutting it off for a synthetic manufactured in a lab.
Sorry, sad days ahead of us.
Good luck to us all.

April 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm
(47) ecboyle says:

Why does the public helplessly sit by, commenting. Why do we, as consumers need the monopoly, Armour thyroid? Can’t some organic group raise pigs to get an unadulterated supply from which to create thyroid as it was invented 80 years ago? Or is this nation as poorly able as everyone says it is?

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