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Synthroid, Armour and Thyrolar Update

T4 plus T3 Thyroid Hormone Replacement Drugs for Hypothyroidism


Updated September 04, 2011

Armour and Mad Cow Disease?
Periodicially there is concern about Armour Thyroid, because some practitioners believe that it poses a risk of prion-borne diseases, i.e., "Mad Cow Disease."

I contacted Angela Deiters, Drug Information Pharmacist of the Professional Affairs Department at Forest Pharmaceuticals, who said that Armour Thyroid comes from United States grain-fed pig (porcine) thyroid. It is NOT cow (bovine) thyroid hormone. Because the animals are domestic, and they are grain fed (not fed meat that might potentially be contaminated by Mad Cow disease itself) there is no danger of Mad Cow disease from the Armour Thyroid products.

I also mentioned that there seemed to be confusion, as I've even seen reputable endocrinologists post on various lists and such that Armour is bovine. Angela said people may be remembering that years ago, Armour did produce a thyroid product, called Thyrar, (not to be confused with Thyrolar), that was made from bovine thyroid.

Refrigerating Thyrolar?
While I had Angela on the phone, I also asked why Thyrolar started carrying a label that said it required refrigeration. Angela said that new stability and potency tests had been done with the product refrigerated. This keeps it fresher and more potent longer.

I asked about traveling with the drug. She said that if you're traveling for up to a week, you can probably use it unrefrigerated without too much potency loss, but after that, it's not guaranteed. Even if you can refrigerate only part of the time, that's better.

For Info on Armour and Thyrolar
For more information on Armour or Thyrolar, contact:

Professional Affairs Department
Forest Pharmaceuticals
13600 Shoreline Drive
St Louis, MO 63045
800-678-1605, x 7037, Fax: 314-493-7457

Status of the Synthroid Lawsuit
According to Knoll's Senior Communications Manager, Dave Ennis, at the Synthroid fairness hearing on March 13, 1998, there were a number of people who attended the hearing in order to "opt out" of the lawsuit.

You might remember some of the discussion regarding the Synthroid lawsuit and proposed settlement, which I ran in a recent two part series: The Synthroid Settlement: Fair Payoff or Patient Ripoff? / Part 1, and Part 2.

People who were not satisfied with the proposed settlement payoff of less than $19 per person had the option to exclude themselves from the class action lawsuit, and could also attend the fairness hearing to make their case to the judge.

Apparently, so many people presented with the intent to "opt out" that the judge requested that everyone attending who wanted to "opt out" had ten days to send information to her. The judge did rule on the fairness hearing, and determined that the proposed class action settlement was fair.

The judge approved the settlement, and there was a second wave of notification to potential members of the lawsuit. Advertising ran in USA Today, some daily newspapers, Parade, USA Today Weekend, People, Readers' Digest, and Better Homes & Gardens. Once all the names have been collected, the final number of claimants was determined, and the payments were processed.
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