Natural Thyroid Extract prescribing – Badly Informed Doctors
Another mis-informed GP – please copy the GMC message below and give it to your GP/Endocrinologist should they suggest to you that any such request for the prescription of natural thyroid extract should first be sent to the GMC.
A few days ago a member posted on this forum that her doctor had told her that before he could refer her to a specialist who might recommend the prescribing of natural thyroid extract for her, that all such referrals had now first to be notified to the GMC. Because I had never heard of this before, I took it upon myself to write to the GMC asking if this information was correct or not – and below is their response. It appears that yet another GP is making up excuses as to why he cannot (or should not) help her to get the thyroid hormone she requires. If your GP (or endocrinologist) gives you the same excuse, please copy the letter from the GMC and give it to them.
“Dear Mrs Turner
Thank you for your email about prescribing unlicensed medicines.
Our responsibilities include setting standards for medical education, granting registration with a licence to practise to suitably qualified people, promoting good medical practice, and taking appropriate action where doubts arise about a doctor’s fitness to practise.
We provide guidance to doctors on prescribing unlicensed medicines. If a doctor prescribes an unlicensed medicine they are not required to notify us unless the doctor prescribing the medicine has a condition on their registration that states they must do so. Please see the prescribing unlicensed medicines page on our website for the guidance.
You may wish to contact NHS England to see if they are able to provide you with further advice and information.
If you would like to discuss this further, please reply to my email or call me on the number below.
Contact Centre Adviser
Registration and Revalidation Directorate
Telephone: 0161 923 6602 (+44 161 923 6602 from outside the UK)
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My name is Sheila Turner and I am Chair of Thyroid Patient Advocacy online thyroid support forum www.tpauk.com . We have approximately 10,500 contacts, many of whom are unable to tolerate the synthetic levothyroxine (T4) therapy for their symptoms of hypothyroidism. Instead, they can only regain their normal health by using synthetic T3 (liothyronine) either in combination with levothyroxine, T3 on its own, or using natural thyroid extract which remains unlicensed in the UK, but the MHRA have confirmed that doctors are allowed to prescribe Armour Thyroid, Erfa Thyroid, Westhroid or Nature Throid.
Many of my members get their T3 prescribed by their GP and many (including myself) have their natural thyroid extract prescribed by their GP too.
However, I have, this morning, been told that before a doctor can refer such patients to a specialist who is willing to recommend the prescription of NDT, all such referrals must now go through the process of notifying the GMC.
Please could you let me know as a matter of urgency whether this information is correct, and if so, why such a referral to the GMC is required?
I await hearing from you.
Thyroid Patient Advocacy