Snow Leopard

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Drug Shortages

This brief article touches on a topic that I freely admit I don't fully understand: drug shortages.

I don't get them in the human world or the animal world. Of course, in veterinary medicine, we use a lot of human drugs too.

I understand that at times there may be issues with the supply of  a component or chemical involved in a specific drug's manufacturing. In some cases, the issue is a regulatory one - the plant where the drug is made may have not met some requirement (not even necessarily that the drug is UNsafe) and have to close/requalify etc. We have enormous regulatory burdens in this country (that are both costly in dollar amounts and in productivity.) They drive business away and costs up. YOU can do something about that - contact your legislators, vote for pro-business candidates (NO ONE is against common sense safety so don't even go THERE), encourage research and development, etc. In rare cases, it's a true safety or purity issue. 

The problem is that animals (and humans) suffer when we are in short supply or drugs are "back ordered" for months on end.

Thankfully we in the veterinary world, have compounding pharmacies that can often make these drugs for us - and often in a liquid form (flavored to boot!)  

Still I often find myself limited in what I can use for MY patients because of this and have to go to a 2nd choice drug. 

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