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Will the US drug shortage situation improve next year?

Veterinary: Prescribe Now
Pet Owners: Pick Up and Fill a New Prescription
Monday, December 19, 2011

Critical U.S. drug shortage worsening

According to an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer I saw last December, our industry is experiencing a sustained, absolute dearth of common I.V. medications. Industry consolidation, random and unpredictable manufacturing problems and simple economics have narrowed the pipeline that delivers drugs.

VIN News Service reported recently that a “chemotherapy drug used as a first-tier treatment for lymphoma is in short supply, leaving veterinarians as well as human oncologists scrambling to get their hands on it.” Another report stated that Doxorubicin hydrochloride solution (Adriamycin) is experiencing the “worst shortage in 30 years.”

Information from the Institute for Safe Medical Practices states that patients have died for want of the preferred drug and even the death penalty is temporarily on hold!

Options to ease the pain of drug shortages

There are some things that can be done to relieve the frustration of drug shortages. For example, the FDA can expedite the review of submissions from manufacturers (new product, change in production technique, etc.). Additionally, alternate manufacturers and new sources of raw material can be identified. In some instances, the temporary import of non-U.S. products can be implemented to fill the void.

Once a suitable replacement is found and legitimate sources of distribution are identified, physicians and nurses must be re-educated on the new protocols.

What veterinarians can do during backorder situations

I've put together a presentation on what is currently going on in the pharmaceutical industry and how it impacts veterinary practitioners like us. Download the eBook from the Resources for Veterinarians section of WedgewoodPetRx. Additionally, you can watch the on-demand presentation on PetsVetSpace.com for CE credit. I'll be guest blogging here for a few weeks to share with you this important information.

Michael Brown, DVM, MS
Michael Brown, DVM, MS
Veterinary Ophthalmologist
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About Michael Brown, DVM:
In addition to his professional studies and residency training in ophthalmology, Dr. Brown received a Master of Science degree for his biochemical study of animal tears. Dr. Brown became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists in 1996.

Dr. Brown’s special interests include diseases of the cornea, corneal surgery, intraocular surgery and diseases of the retina.

He has written scientific papers, is a noted lecturer throughout the country and is an ophthalmology consultant for pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Brown is the owner of Veterinary Ophthalmology Services, Inc., a veterinary practice that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular diseases in animals. Veterinary Ophthalmology Services, Inc. offers services at the Animal Eye Center in Little Falls, NJ, Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus, NJ and at Animerge in Raritan, NJ.

Disclaimers:
The views expressed on this blog are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Wedgewood Pharmacy.

Medications compounded by Wedgewood Pharmacy are prepared at the direction of a veterinarian. Many compounded preparations are commonly prescribed, and supported by literature, to treat particular disease states, but you should always consult your veterinarian before taking or administering any compounded medication. Wedgewood Pharmacy does not make claims for the efficacy of its compounded preparations.

Michael Brown, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVO 12/19/2011 8:31:00 AM

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