Levoxyl unavailable announced Pfizer

Pfizer just released this letter to healthcare providers and pharmacies:
they are not shipping anymore Levoxyl out and no further info avail at this time

http://www.thyroid.org/wp-content/uploads/news/2013/LEVOXYL.pdf


Pfizer Inc
235 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017
www.pfizer.com
U.S. Pharmaceuticals

March 2013

Dear Healthcare Providers and Pharmacists:
We are writing to inform you that LEVOXYL (levothyroxine sodium), a prescription medicine approved to treat hypothyroidism and for the treatment or prevention of certain types of goiter, is currently on backorder. Pfizer stopped shipping all strengths* of the product on February 13, 2013.

Pfizer is discussing the backorder situation with the FDA and will resume shipment once the issue is resolved.

It is important to note that Pfizer cannot make any recommendations regarding an alternative and/or substitute therapy for LEVOXYL. A change in therapy will be at the prescriber’s discretion.
Pfizer apologizes for the inconvenience this may cause. We want to assure you that Pfizer remains committed to providing access to safe, effective and affordable medicines to the people
who need them.

Please direct medically related questions about LEVOXYL to Pfizer Medical Information at
1-800-438-1985. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we strive for a resolution.

Regards,
The LEVOXYL Team
Pfizer Inc

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34 replies. Join the discussion

Bio- How do you like the Tirosint? I'm on Synthroid (137) and cytomel (5mcg twice daily). I felt great for about 2 months, then the muscle aches, depression and fatigue all came back. I was thinking of trying to switch to Tirosint to see if that helps.

Thanks!

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I just learned about this when I went to pick up my Rx...two days before leaving on vaca. Luckily I called around and was able to get the Rx filled via multiple pharmacies. What really drives what is going on with this?

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My endo was telling me about this last week, it's been a year and still can't get my levels right, and now I have to switch to some other med... :(

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does this apply to all labs? My pharmacy uses Abbott

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That's what I was wondering, too, hagdak.

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the BRAND name Levoxyl is made by King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (was bought by Pfizer)

Abbott makes Brand name Synthroid (which of course had it's own issue in Jan and had to recall the 150 mg tablets for mislabeling packaging)

If you are using a generic, you need to check with your pharmacy.

The excuse Pfizer gave is very vague : (

sorry Wisegirl 11 know the feeling

now who was it that posted a while back what if they stopped selling Synthroid..... not a nice feeling

this link may help: http://thyroid.about.com/cs/thyroiddrugs/l/bldrugsindex.htm#brands

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BiomedEE, I would think the drug company is playing the risk of ppl changing to another med and liking it better... I guess time will tell if the prices go up, or if they are like gas companies, if one cries shortage they ALL can go up.
Time will tell .....

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on a side note, King Labs also makes Cytomel but have not seen any notification on that. Odd, makes one go hmmm...

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I called 2 different phone numbers at Pfizer to complain. They gave very vague answers as to the cause of the shortage. One thing I thought was interesting was that I told them that I was a thyca patient, the nurse put me on hold and came back and asked me if I was on Levoxyl prior to the thyca diagnosis or after. I just thought that was an odd, kind of marketing info type of question. Maybe they have decided they are not making enough profit from it. I called around and was able to obtain 30 more days from another pharmacy, fingers crossed that in 30 days they have this all cleared up.

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wtg hlg60! If everyone did that... I wonder if they are trying to guess or forego any lawsuits from thyca survivors, depending on what the REAL reason is for not sending out shipments!

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I agree with you BiomedEE as usual! sad but true - the facts I mean! lol

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I spoke to Pfizer early yesterday. First they had me speak to a pharmacist then a medical doctor. I also told them I had no thyroid and was post cancer. I was put on hold. That is when the doctor got on. I was told the phone call was being recorded. They would not tell me much and would not answer the questions as to: why it happen; how long it would be; what country is Levexyl made in; what was I suppose to do and whether I could use a bottle of expired Levoxyl from Nov 2012. I asked them do you actually work for Pfizer? They said yes. I said you are telling me you work for them can not answer any of my questions. Their response was they are not being told the answers. I used the telephone number in the letter.

If any of you are switched to a different thyroid drug make sure you are followed up with blood test. Different drugs absorb differently. Good luck to all of us.

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Wowsie! I can see this is gonna be a nightmare :( and they are already trying to protect themselves!

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Hubby says this sounds like maybe there is a bigger picture and the question about before or after thyca - wondering if there is a danger link - like more cancer? Something is really wrong when NO answers are being given...it is far more than about money...

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I got the recording "sorry all professionals are busy at this time, please remain on the line." got Steven, was placed on hold so he could check on it... he said call back for more info... he was very nice and said to contact your dr and pharmacy asap if you are running out. He said ALL strengths were back ordered and they were in discussions with the FDA on proceeding. It is possibly an issue of supply and demand.
I said wait a min, an issue of supply and demand is not something the FDA gets involved in, I said I was told there was a packaging issue. He said he was not given any additional information and agreed the FDA does NOT get involved with supply and demand issues and there could be more involved for ALL strengths to be affected. Please call back next week. They are in discussions with the FDA. By the end of the convo, there were pauses and interruptions in the call.

I would hazard a guess production & shipping has ceased for time being and the FDA is involved. Need not say more. They think back ordered sounds better.

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Telephone with Pfizer: I forgot to add: I asked if this was a recall? They said no. I asked if it was safe to take our current supply of Levoxyl? They said yes.

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@Biomed- Labs from beginning of March- My thyroxine is 9.49 (Ref 4.6 to 12), my T3 Uptake is 1.04 (Ref .76 to 1.25), my Free Thyroxine Index is 9.87 (Ref 4.40 to 11.40) and my Triiodothyyronine is 1.48 (Ref .80 to 2.0).

Before Cytomel, my thyroxine levels were much higher (around 11.5), but I felt AWFUL then. I decreased synthroid and got on cytomel and felt great for 2 months, now trending towards awful again. Not sure if I need to increase the synthroid/cytomel a little bit, or switch all together. Or, like you said, my adrenals are fatigued.

My calcium and Vit D were low, so I increased supplementation for them, but its not seeming to help either.

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So Levoxyl is basically Synthroid, both brand names by separate companies? Levoxyl is not the levothyroxine I take, right? I believe mine is generic. I believe I answered my own question, but just to be sure...

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Levoxyl is a brand name made by Pfizer, Synthroid is made by Abbott (I think), levothyroxine is generic. I am going to call Pfizer and tell them that I am going to boycott their OTC products such as Advil, etc until they restore the supply of Levoxyl and let them know that I am asking all of my Facebook friends to boycott as well, maybe a chance that they will get some bad publicity will spur them to action, I am really pissed!

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Everyone please be aware that the FDA does like to keep up to date with drug shortages. On their website www.fda.gov they provide a listing of all drugs on backorder. I briefly read over a series of articles on their website and it appears King Parmaceuticals as well as PFizer(the ultimate owner) has had some dealings with the FDA in the past. The problems mainly stem from drug name mix ups during prescriptions (that's why the name was changed to Levoxly), some packaging problem (tablets of various doses mixed together in the bulk packet), and mislabeling or advertisement (they are not allowed to market Levoxly as equivalent to Synthroid since no testing as been proven as such to the FDA). Keep in mind Pfizer also buys several small companies which have their fair share of problems so they've tangoed with the FDA and had large pay outs before. Also when reporting a drug shortage to FDA the company is required to provide a reason for the shortage- this is selected from FDA classifications. This shortage was reported a reason "other" so for right now it does not appear to be a quality issue. I would however keep in mind that two years ago the FDA required companies to adhere to stricter potency testing (basically is the drug strength of active ingredient). This would narrow the allowed testing results for drug stability (test of same lot over time to help determine expiry). Companies had until 2012 to come inline with these new requirements so maybe there stability test are now failing or the have no drug bulk able to pass the test. On the other hand Levoxly is cheaper then Synthroid and when Pfizer took over they intended to compete in the thyroid market and boost sells maybe they just couldn't keep up with demand. Only time will tell....

Best wishes everyone I hope you find suitable alternatives but I earn do not look to online counterfeits or expired drugs!!!!

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