Veterinarians who are involved with the Vetsulin Critical Need Program will need to find another source of treatment for their diabetic patients. The company that manufactures the drug, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, issued notices to veterinarians and consumers this week, alerting them that the Critical Need Program (CNP), designed to provide the product to critical patients, will be ending as of Feb. 7, 2011. "Quality tests showed that the sterility of the most recent batch of Vetsulin manufactured for the CNP may be compromised by bacterial contamination," the letter says. "This batch of Vetsulin has not been released and additional batches are not being manufactured at this time. We, therefore, cannot supply the program and it must be discontinued."
The Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) is preparing to launch a new, $25 million initiative to try to prevent cancer in dogs. The Canine Lifetime Health Project, as it is called, was announced at the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC) in Orlando earlier this month. "The goal of this study is to identify genetic, nutritional and environmental risk factors for the cause of cancer and other diseases," said Wayne Jensen, DVM, PhD, MAFs chief science officer. "It’s a one of a kind study." The foundation decided to study canine cancer since it is the No. 1 cause of death in dogs over two years old, according to the MAF, and MAF donors have identified cancer as their top disease of concern.
A popular product used to treat diabetes in dogs and cats will be made available to critical patients, despite ongoing concerns about the drug’s stability. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said May 5 that Intervet/Schering Plough Animal Health’s Vetsulin (porcine insulin zinc suspension) will be offered to certain dogs and cats in limited supply through the company’s new Vetsulin Critical-Need Program. “The supply is only to be used for a critical-need dog or cat that, in the medical judgment of the pet’s veterinarian, cannot be effectively managed on another insulin product,” the FDA said. Intervet has been working with the FDA since last fall to address concerns with Vetsulin’s stability. In November, the FDA issued a product alert on Vetsulin when amounts of crystalline insulin in the formulation were found to be out of specification in some batches of the product. Intervet sent a letter to veterinarians shortly after that urging them to begin transitioning diabetic patients off Vetsulin due to predicted shortages in product availability.
The makers of the veterinary insulin product Vetsulin are stressing the need to transition diabetic animals off of the drug “as soon as possible.” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued a product alert on Vetsulin when amounts of crystalline insulin in the formulation were found to be out of specification in some batches of the product. Vetsulin manufacturer Intervet/Schering Plough Animal Health sent a letter to veterinarians in November urging them to begin transitioning diabetic patients off Vetsulin due to predicted shortages in product availability. Last week, Intervet issued a follow-up letter to veterinarians, which had a more urgent tone than the first communication from the company. In the letter, Intervet Director of Technical Services Christopher Pappas Jr., DVM, emphasized that veterinarians should transition dogs and cats from Vetsulin to other products as soon as possible, and to start new patients on other drugs.
Veterinarians play a key role in providing for animal welfare and setting the standard for responsible use of antimicrobials, according to joint statements released by AVMA and the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE).
A Florida compounding pharmacy is denying that it broke the law, following a suit filed against it by the federal government. Last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) filed a complaint for permanent injunction against compounding pharmacy Franck’s Compounding Lab of Ocala, Fla. The case is a milestone in the long and complex history of compounding regulation. “This is the first time FDA has sought a permanent injunction to end compounding activities by a veterinary compounding pharmacy,” said Laura Alvey, a spokesperson for the FDA’a Center for Veterinary Medicine. The injunction would permanently bar Franck’s Compounding Lab and CEO Paul W. Franck from compounding or distributing drugs without FDA approval, and award “just and proper” costs to the FDA. Last year, Franck’s drew attention from the media when 21 polo horses from the Lechuza Caracas polo team died at the U.S. Open Polo Championships after they were given a compounded formula of Biodyl. Franck’s was the pharmacy that prepared the formula, and admitted shortly after the incident that it incorrectly prepared the formula.
As the U.S. economic climate continues to darken, another unfortunate victim is appearing: the pet health-care financial assistance fund. There are dozens of these funds, which accept donations to help pet owners pay for veterinary medical bills. Many are state-specific, but there are only a few national organizations that provide money for pet owners in need, and as of this week, five of them are no longer accepting applications for assistance. “We’re hurting. We’re all out of money,” said Jacki Hadra, founder of In Memory of Magic (IMOM). “We’re getting more applications than ever, but fewer donations.” Claire Gaudiani, a professor at New York University’s Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising said that these organizations can expect to see a drop-off in donations. “Historically there is a decline in giving that is associated with a decline in wealth-building,” Gaudiani said. “It’s different in different periods; it’s hard to predict how severe this will be.”
Professionals Stress High Morbidity, Low Mortality Aspects of Dog Flu
Catch up on the latest pet and veterinary news from the last week. In this update: a case study shows dogs could help children with physical disabilities, veterinarians at CSU develop an at-home parvo treatment, and two dogs in Colorado tested positive for rabies.
Catch up on the latest pet and veterinary news from the last week. In this update: canine influenza continues to spread, rawhides recalled by the United Pet Group, a study shows dog owners have increased physical activity, and a veterinary college conducts a feline obesity study.