The Merck Laboratory will continue to make available the old Levothyrox formula for French patients who have prescription "throughout the year 2019," said AFP Valérie Leto, a pharmacist in charge of Merck France.
Less than 50,000 boxes will be available per month, which corresponds to the volume available in 2018 "and to" the needs of patients, "Mrs Leto maintains, insisting on the" transient "nature of this period," must enable patients to find a lasting alternative solution ".
Toulouse High Court reduced Monday to make available the old Levothyrox (Euthyrox) for 3 months from January 1, 2019 in 39 patients, but the laboratory confirmed Tuesday in AFP that all prescription patients will be able to provide in 2019.
"The old formula will be available to all patients who have prescription and not just 39 patients affected by the Toulouse court decision," said AFP's Leto.
The laboratory says it responds to a request by the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM), which at the end of October introduced five permanent solutions for patients with thyroid gland disorders and confirmed the assessment of "other original specialties or generics" for "diversifying the therapeutic supply".
"With regard to Euthyrox (equivalent to the older formulation of Levothyrox), ANSM has asked Merck's laboratory to continue its availability in France in 2019 to allow patients still treating Euthyrox to adapt to new treatment," ANSM said in its a statement released on October 31.
ANSM reminded that Euthyrox is available for a limited time and in limited quantities "and that levothyroxine based on regular use and perennials should be preferred.
The older Levothyrox formula is imported from Germany because Merck does not have a French marketing authorization for Euthyrox but only an import license.
In Germany, the new formula will replace the old substance in the first half of 2019, but Merck is committed to continuing to provide old recipes to French patients in 2019 "from imports from other European countries," says Mrs Leto.
The European Medicines Agency issued a favorable opinion in July to launch a new formulation of Levothyrox in 21 countries.
The lab says it has received no requests for the old formula to be available in countries in transition. Valérie Leto emphasized the existence of alternative "sustainable solutions" in the countries concerned, such as Switzerland.