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Mary Shomon

A Possible Way to Fill Natural Thyroid Prescriptions with Canadian Drug from Erfa

By August 26, 2009

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Thanks to Lori Franze in Toronto, who tipped me off to the information about Erfa, the Canadian distributor of a natural desiccated drug called "Thyroid,". Erfa has posted information at their website outlining the steps for how patients from outside Canada can order the drug.

For patients outside Canada and the US:

  1. Get a prescription from your local doctor (mention hypothyroidism on it).
  2. Your doctor should fill in this document (not required for the UK)
  3. Fax or e-mail the documents at 1-514-931-7330 or info@ERFA.net.

For patients in the US:

  1. get a valid prescription of Thyroid from your local doctor
  2. your doctor has to fill FDA form 1572* (e-mail a request at info@erfa.net.)
  3. fax or e-mail Erfa the documents at 1-514-931-7330 or info@erfa.net.

More information is available from Erfa by emailing them at info@erfa.net or calling toll free 1-888-922 3133


* 1572 is a federal form and is for use of a drug for investigational purposes. It is also available online (PDF). This process is known as a single-user Investigational New Drug Application.

Note: According to an email I received today from Henri Knafo at Erfa, the prescription must be written by an MD or NP, and needs to be written for "Thyroid" -- and 30, 60 and 125 mg dosages are available.

Update: August 27, 2009 -- Stephanie over at Save Natural Thyroid has shared some updated information about the importation of the Erfa drug, and some challenges patients may face, including U.S. Customs confiscation of some shipments of the drugs.

Generally, I doubt that many doctors in the U.S. will be willing to testify to the FDA on this form that they are signing off on natural desiccated thyroid importation for investigational purposes. You might actually have better success with one of the Canadian pharmacies that fill U.S. prescriptions by mail-order.

But if you have tried this method to get a prescription filled and it has worked for you, please post in the comments and share your experience.

The Armour Thyroid and Nature-Throid Shortage Information Center


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Comments
August 26, 2009 at 12:31 pm
(1) Scott Sandall says:

I would agree with you Mary about the required information of FDA Form 1572…it’s a “Statement of Investigator” that requires an Institutional Review Board for the “study”. This looks to be much too formal an application that an average doctor would sign in today’s environment.

August 27, 2009 at 9:06 am
(2) Debra says:

Most doctors won’t even write a prescription for Armour, or listen to our concerns, so i doubt that they would take the time to go through all the trouble to help us get a drug from Canada. I know most of the doctors i’ve seen for my thyroid problem wouldn’t do it !!!!!!!!!

August 28, 2009 at 5:54 pm
(3) Pam says:

I have ordered in the past (not thyroid meds.)from “The Canadian Drugstore Inc.” When you go to this website, you can download limited power of attorney form and a payment form. The last form is where you fill in your credit card info. and attach your prescription. You can FAX these forms (they do not require you to mail the original pres. from your Dr.)to them at Fax # 1-888-575-5506 or 416-946-1617. Their mailing address is: The Canadian Drugstore — 1696 Avenue Road — Toronto, Ontario — Canada M5M 3Y4.

August 31, 2009 at 3:58 pm
(4) Jon says:

The Canadian Drugstore online does not sell “Thyroid”.

September 11, 2009 at 9:36 am
(5) Cindy says:

I’m going to place an order through canadadrugs.com. They have Thyroid available and you can either fax your rx or they will call your doc for you to obtain it. Their prices look good. This company appears to be the largest of its kind in Canada. They will also resend the product if (for some reason) it is confiscated. They guarantee product delivery in 21 days. I’ll post on my progress.

September 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm
(6) Cindy says:

I’m on the phone with canadadrugs.com & placing an order as I type. They’ve been fantastic. I also spoke with a doc @ Erfa re Thyroid. He confirmed that a short transit (shipment) period would not affect the drug (I had concerns about degradation due to heat/humidity). Also said it could be taken sublingually & I could split the pills. So, I’m actually going to save a chunk of money by ordering a larger pill & splitting it. They set up an acct. for me online, took my doc’s contact info., and they will contact my doc to request they fax the script. They also have a $25 referral deal going on. Said if I refer someone, I’ll get $25 in my account & the person I referred will get a $25 discount applied to their order. I tell you, I’m definitely not used to this level of service. Hopefully, I’ll get back to feeling like my old self once I’m on a decent formulation. Word to the wise – the doc at Erfa said I should order a large quantity – that they may soon be experiencing a shortage due to increased demand by their neighbors. Shipping is only $6.95 (or free if your order is $99 or more), and you can return any unused medication for a refund (if it doesn’t work for you). They also guarantee the product is rec’d within 21 days (so, if it gets confiscated through the mail – it’s their responsibility to send another shipment). Their phone number is 1-800-226-3784.

September 29, 2009 at 7:35 am
(7) SHRED says:

My wife’s shipment from ERFA to the USA was confiscated by the FDA.
We got a message on our phone yesterday from the FDA.

Bummer

October 2, 2009 at 7:00 am
(8) Lauren says:

Does anyone know what the comparative dosage would be for someone on Armour? I’m not sure what the grain-to-mg conversion would be for this medication.

October 2, 2009 at 6:16 pm
(9) Deb says:

Lauren!!! Thanks! That is the question I was just getting ready to post. I was on 1.5 gr Armour, but now that it is unavailable, I am on Levothroxine (.137, I believe), with two doses of Cytomel per day to get the other T (can’t remember if the Cytomel provides the T3 or the T4) I just don’t do as well on the synthetics.

As long as we are the subject of T3 and T4, does the Canadian brand Thyroid contain both? I do best when I am taking both.

October 2, 2009 at 6:19 pm
(10) Deb says:

PS: I sent an email to erfa.net yesterday re: the 1572* form. They responded that this form is no longer required.

November 13, 2009 at 6:15 pm
(11) Suanne says:

Cindy,
If you read this, we would love to be able to contact you to do the referral thing. I just started on compounded, but if it does not work well for me I will be switching to Thyroid. My email is amazindyes@gmail.com if you want to contact me. Thanks…would love to hear how the Erfa is working for you as well.

November 14, 2009 at 5:21 pm
(12) Susan says:

Cindy,
how did the order work out? How long did it take? Are you happy with the product? I also am running out and would like to order from Canada…can you refer me? How does this work?
Thanks,
Susan
svitz9@gmail.com

November 14, 2009 at 9:00 pm
(13) Susan says:

Is the Thyroid from Canada like the “old” Armour which was great, or like the newly reformulated Armour, which doesn’t work?
Thanks,
Ssuan

December 11, 2009 at 10:59 pm
(14) Nancie says:

I ordered thyroid from canadadrugs.com too. It got here in a timely manner. I’m feeling fine. But I do wonder if ít’s the same as armour. I have sent Mary an email to ask her if it’s the same. I paid $35 for 100 30mg tablets.

March 12, 2010 at 10:09 am
(15) Dorine says:

I just started Thyroid, Erfa product. Before, I was using Synthroid 88mcg, my pharmacist says 2 30mg tab. of Erfa is equivalent to 100 mg of Syntroid and that you shouldn’t cut Erfa in half. So, I’m taking 1-30mg one day of Erfa and the next day I take 2. Hope it works. Anyone with info on this would be greatly appreciated.

July 19, 2013 at 10:19 am
(16) Anna says:

I know it’s been a while since this article and the answers were posted. I switched to Erfa Thyroid last year, after trying Armour Thyroid with no success, and I’ve been doing great since. I’m definitely staying on Erfa!

Given all the complaints about Armour Thyroid, and the number of patients who have switched to other brands since the reformulation, I was hoping that Forest would switch back to the original formulation of Armour (I have never heard anyone say they did not do fantastic on it). But it has been four and a half years since the reformulation, it’s still the bad Armour being distributed to pharmacies, and RLC Labs also reformulated Nature-Throid and Westhroid shortly after Armour was reformulated. So I guess neither Forest nor RLC plan to go back to the original formulation? If they intended to, I guess they would have by now.

I have even been wondering why they don’t stop making these drugs altogether, I haven’t heard of anyone actually doing fine on them since the reformulations?

Since not only Forest, but also RLC Labs could do this to patients depending on their drugs, does this mean that they were making so little money off natural desiccated thyroid that they don’t care if they lose customers?

July 20, 2013 at 9:31 pm
(17) Ed says:

Is there a recommended or fairly simply way for US citizens to get Erfa? Last I remember from quite some time ago the border was sealed and we are stuck with these wonderful drugs US drugs and the prices that go along with them, cheap as the may be. Thank you.

August 30, 2013 at 12:52 am
(18) pep says:

to everyone with thyriod problem
I’m one of the victims of hypothyroidism since 2007
nobody care for the american sociaty that’s why if a company deside to make changes because of financial issue no one can stop them. There should be a goverment institution/organization to control those who “take care for the sociatie’s health” including laboratorieas such as Forest and also insurances. Until nobody control them, everything who need medical care will be in meas. Sometimes I feel like Donkihot. Who cares? Rigth!

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