Where and how veterinary drugs are made—and why it matters

Why does it matter where I get my patients’ veterinary drugs from? What do terms like cGMP and USP 800 mean? What’s the difference between a 503B outsourcing facility and a 503A traditional compounding pharmacy? Does any of this really impact my practice and standard of care? 

Have these questions come up in your practice? Epicur’s advisory council member, Ann Donoghue, DVM, MS, answered these questions and more when we spoke with her about why it matters where veterinary hospitals and clinics get their compounded medications from and how it can deeply impact patient care. She also shared this unique way of thinking about veterinary compounding: 

“Compounding a drug is a bit like baking. Think about giving the same snickerdoodle cookie recipe to five different people. One batch of those cookies might be crispy, the other chewy; one batch might be overly brown, while another is undercooked; the amount of cinnamon coating might vary from batch to batch. If the recipe was doubled or tripled, the cookies may turn out very different because the recipe didn’t scale well. All of these people used the same recipe but got different results because their equipment and processes varied.

The same thing happens in drug compounding. How long did they mix the drug? Did they weigh it accurately, and is the scale calibrated correctly? Do they really know that what they’re putting together is the right amount of drug? If they’re making a larger batch of medication, did they modify the formulation appropriately? All of these factors can impact whether the drug will work as expected and may affect treatment outcomes.”

Continue reading our conversation with Ann for more helpful crumbs about veterinary drug manufacturing and tips for ensuring you’re ordering from the right provider. 



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