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In late summer, I called in a refill for my prescription for Armour Thyroid, a natural thyroid medication I’ve been taking for about four years. Armour Thyroid is made from desiccated pig thyroid and contains two thyroid hormones known as T4 and T3. Synthetic thyroid medications, such as Synthroid, contain only T4. Some people feel better using Armour. Others prefer Synthroid.
My pharmacist called me back to tell me he was out of my pill and wasn’t sure when he was going to get more. He did have a different dosage though and we were able to substitute that. A few months later, he was out of the second kind of pill. He couldn’t tell me why there was a shortage but seemed to be suggesting that the scarcity might be permanent. I became alarmed and started to check for information about Armour. The internet was swirling with rumors and every day some new twist on the thyroid medication story came to light. Some competitors were spreading misinformation about natural thyroid products, suggesting they were going off the market. Others suggested that the manufacturer, Forest Laboratories, had some legal problems. There was a story about a problematic formulation change. Still others hinted that the FDA was “going after” natural thyroid products.
Each month, it got harder to locate pills. This is a medication you’re supposed to take every day for the rest of your life and without warning, I was being told, like thousands of others, that I couldn’t get it. Luckily, when I could no longer find Armour at any local pharmacy in December, I called my doctor and she wrote me a prescription, so that I could have a natural thyroid product created for me at a local compounding pharmacy.
So what’s really happening? There are, apparently, real shortages of product. In addition, it seems the FDA has decided to classify the Armour Thyroid, available for over 100 years, as an unapproved new drug because it had never gone through the drug approval process. Since the new drug approval process is prohibitively expensive for a non-patentable substance, the FDA is in effect banning the natural product. The purpose? Presumably to protect the profits of the synthetic drugs that have been FDA approved, according to the Alliance for Natural Health, USA, a non-profit group organized to promote integrative medicine and to protect the rights of alternative doctors to practice and of consumers to pursue alternatives to allopathic medicine.
The Anti-Aging Bottom Line: Act now. Don’t expect others to fight this battle for you. This is just one side of a continual effort to maintain our rights to have access to natural products for our health and wellness! You can find continual updates about natural thyroid products and links to join others in the fight to keep natural thyroid products available by visiting the Save Natural Thyroid Coaltion online.