My Meds Matter, a medical watchdog site with a specific interest in custom compounded medications, recently posted an alert about a proposal coming before the U.S. Senate. If passed, this proposal would effectively ban pharmacies from compounding medications prescribed by veterinarians to treat dogs, cats, and horses.
|photo via GOKLuLe, Wikimedia Commons|
The most egregious provision under consideration would limit the bulk ingredients that can be used in compounded medications to treat dogs, cats and horses to a positive list developed by the FDA.
There are no similar restrictions for elephants, giraffes, hamsters, other minor species— not even humans!
This could mean the elimination of important drug therapies that dogs, cats and horses depend on."
What's behind this push to ban compounding drugs? Apparently it's sponsored by the Animal Health Institute (AHI), a group created and funded by the big drug companies. Their member directory reads as a Who's Who of the world's major pharmaceutical companies: Abbot Laboratories, Bayer, Merck, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis, Zoetis.
|Will this proposal cause pharmacies like this one to be |
a thing of the past? Photo: Sarah Smith
But are compounded medications really that important? We asked Dr. Sara Huber of Leawood Plaza Animal Hospital to weigh in on the subject - and her answer was eye opening:
|Dr. Sara Huber, DVM|
"When I try to pill her, she gets so worked up that she has an asthma attack and needs her rescue inhaler. I get her medications compounded into a transdermal gel that she tolerates really well.
"Without these compounded medications, I don't know that I would be able to get the medication into her without:
1. compromising her health and risking a potentially fatal asthma attack
2. ruining the bond between us.
"The last thing you want is for your cat to run away when they see you coming!"
I found this next point to be a very important one:
Dr. Huber: "Aside from just ease of administration, compounded medications help us dose our puppies and kittens and our toy breeds much more accurately.
"Most of the medications that we use are formulated for "adult-sized" cats and small, medium, and large dogs. We often have to treat 2 pound kittens, full grown dogs that are 4 pounds, etc.
"With compounding pharmacies, we can get the proper dose in an appropriate amount of liquid/appropriate sized pill to treat these little guys.
"Lastly, cost is often a factor when trying to medicate pets (it stinks that it has to be, but even people who love their pets more than themselves sometimes can't afford to do everything for them). Often times, a medication through a compounding pharmacy is more cost effective than the name brand veterinary equivalent or even human equivalent. This allows us to treat problems that may otherwise go untreated if the client simply can't afford it.
"Again, I take the compounding issue very personally because losing the ability to compound certain drugs would compromise my own pet. But I love my patients dearly, and using compounded medications has helped me to treat them more efficiently."
After reading this, we went out immediately and signed the petition at My Meds Matter to block the passing of such a proposal. To me, the critical issues are these three points:
1. Sometimes the best, most accurate dosage can only be given through a compounded medication.
2. Compounded meds may be cheaper.
If we can keep the cost of pet health care down, we can help more people afford to adopt.
3. Compounded meds can be far less traumatic to your pet when administered.
Please consider signing the petition also, and help keep compounded medications available to veterinarians across the USA.
|Mister "I Refuse To Be Pilled."|