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The difficult return to pharmacy of the former Levothyrox 

The former Levothyrox is temporarily back in pharmacy. But to obtain it is more difficult than expected, given an information.

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The difficult return to pharmacy of the former Levothyrox 

"A dozen people came to my pharmacy to ask for a box of old Levothyrox formula," says a Parisian pharmacist, who was able to satisfy only one of m. Since Monday, October 2, former Levothyrox formula of Merck Serono Laboratory, which bears name Euthyrox, is temporarily back in France.

This drug, intended for people with thyroid hormone deficiency, changed formula in March 2017, at request of health authorities, causing adverse effects in many patients. The Minister of Health, in face of important mobilization of patients, announced on September 15 provisional return of old formula. A total of 130 000 boxes were imported from Germany, according to National Drug Safety Agency (ANSM), which recalls that se treatments should only be used as a last resort.

"Valid" Orders

In order to manage this low stock, ANSM asked pharmacists to accept only certain prescriptions: those with words "Euthyrox" and having been carried out after 14 September. "I only saw one person with a proper prescription," says a pharmacist from Essonne, who worked Monday afternoon.

It is true that instructions of health authorities regarding delivery of medicine were given only on Saturday, to health professionals and patients. And y were changed in daytime. According to a first information point aired on Saturday morning, ANSM asked pharmacists to accept only orders prescribed after October 1. Before rectifying in day, to finally stop date as of September 14th. Difficult in se conditions to make "valid" orders. In addition, information, like drug boxes, has arrived at dropper in dispensaries.


"Look, old formula of Levothyrox is marked as missing on my computer," storm a pharmacist who tries, in vain, to place an order among main wholesale distributors, responsible for delivering drugs to Pharmacies.

Even angry for Alain Delgutt, President of Central Council of National Order of pharmacists, who after trying to order a box via his computer, finally tried to contact his wholesaler directly by phone. But "his line had to be overloaded because I couldn't reach him." "So I called pharmacist in charge of facility on his cell phone to get medicine."

Or pharmacists deplore on Twitter this difficulty in joining wholesalers: "I have a prescription." In good and due form. But impossible to reach wholesaler. "Seven minutes waiting and y hang you in nose," writes one of m.

Transient Solution

To try to justify ANSM attached by telephone, explained that in a very exceptional way, pharmacists also have possibility of faxing directly to wholesalers orders of patients. A way to expedite procedures while ensuring that pharmacist's request is immediate need of a patient. But n again, deposit was not passed. Of five pharmacists in Paris region contacted by Le Figaro, only one has heard of this possibility.

In short, so far nothing has been managed as planned. "I have information by social networks", quips pharmacist of Essonne. "When information from health authorities falls, I am generally aware of it for a very long time."

"The most amazing thing is that we manage a shortage of Euthyrox, a drug that won't even be available in a few months," laments Jean-Philippe Thil, a pharmacist in Seine-et-Marne. The old formula of Levothyrox is indeed available ... until stock is exhausted. And in course of year 2018, all European countries should move to new formula of Levothyrox. In principle.

For more information:

hypo Thyroidism: What is it? Quyels symptoms? What treatments?


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