Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
Veterinary practices struggling to stock enough injectable opioids for patient pain control could see some relief under a new U.S. Food and Drug Administration policy.
The federal agency stated that the ongoing shortage, which has seen Pfizer Inc. restrict sales of opioid pain medications to human medicine providers, can be alleviated through greater imports.
“In September 2018, the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine became aware that veterinarians that had relied on these products for pain control in their patients were no longer able to obtain them through their standard distribution channels,” the FDA stated.
Pfizer is being allowed to import hydromorphone hydrochloride injection “in 2 mg/ml strength, 1 ml volume ampules” and share it with the veterinary industry, the FDA noted.
“In addition to hydromorphone, Pfizer also has made morphine sulfate injection, USP in vials and ampules available to the U.S. veterinary market,” the FDA added. “These products are currently in short supply but will continue to be available to veterinary practitioners when supply increases.”
Practitioners can purchase the drugs through veterinary distributors.
“By making these products available for veterinary use, Pfizer is helping to ensure that veterinarians have a more complete formulary of products to manage pain in their animal patients, to assist in their recovery and to minimize suffering,” the FDA stated.
Pfizer expects the opioid shortage to end in early 2019.