I just spoke with Kenny Soejoto, COO of American Laboratories and he was extremely helpful in providing insight into the ongoing problems with the supply of natural desiccated thyroid such as Armour Thyroid, Westhroid and Nature-Throid. Below is my latest understanding of the situation.
Thyroid Supply Facts:
1- Am. Labs is the only manufacturer of “USP thyroid” in the US and has been in this business for 42 years.
2- USP Thyroid is the active ingredient in the all pharmaceutical grade thyroid extracts sold on the US.
3- Am. Labs has seen increased demand for its product over the past few years.
4- Am. Labs had a production problem over the past year.
5- This has lead to interrupted production of USP Thyroid.
6- This, in turn, has lead to limited production of thyroid tablets by pill manufacturers (eg Armour, Westhroid, NatureThroid, generic, compounded).
7- Am. Labs is now in full production since December, 2009.
8- The supply chain from Am. Labs to the patient is long and complex, so it may take a while for the pills to get to you.
9- There Should Be an Adequate Supply of Desiccated Natural Thyroid at Local Pharmacies in the near Future.
10- Keep your fingers crossed.
The Pill Facts:
1- All prescription thyroid medications in the US are made from the same USP Thyroid
2- There are several manufacturers of thyroid pills
3- Armour Thyroid is made by Forrest Pharmaceuticals and is the most commonly used desiccated thyroid pill.
4- Forrest reformulated Armour by altering the ratio of some of the binding agents
There is now a slightly different ratio of methylcellulose to dextrose (they reportedly did this to improve absorption ).
5- Since this small change, many people (including some of my patients) have
reported feeling a relapse of hypothyroid symptoms