Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Generic Drugs and Pets

Over the past several years,  generic versions of some of our popular veterinary drugs have become available. The numbers are not huge but the potential for this segment of the industry to grow is enormous. This is because there are quite a few FDA approved veterinary drugs that are going off patent. Now remember, we don't have all that MANY FDA approved veterinary drugs (compared to human drugs) and even those we do are often species limited (companies cannot spend the $$ to get it approved in dogs, cats, rabbits, etc so they get for the highest return on investment - dogs first, cats second, etc). We are fortunate to have the ability to use human drugs or veterinary drugs "off label." 

The first generic veterinary drug I ever prescribed (just a few years ago) was a version of a very popular and extremely effective NSAID for dogs called Rimadyl.  I admit to being skeptical about the generic version and yes, I am aware of the standards of what "generic" means. I think some of it has to do with who stands behind it should the patient have a problem? I actually don't know and NOW I am going to find out. If your dog has a problem with Rimadyl and it can be proven that it caused a problem (noticed the word proven) the company will pay for treatment, tests, etc. 

However, over the past few years, I've seen that these drugs are effective, have no more side effects AND save the clients money which in turn, increases client compliance - often a problem in dogs or cats that need long term expensive medications (and often, as in cases with Rimadyl, commonly prescribed for arthritis, big dogs = more $$$). 

This article touches on a few of the stats surrounding this issue:  Generics advancing on lucrative pet drug market

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