Veterinary Practice News October 2010 Letters To The Editor



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Veterinary Practice News October 2010 Letters to the EditorDr. Nancy Scanlan, Dr. Alice Villalobos, Dr. Nancy Scanlan, Jessica Tremayne, AlcheraBioDr. Nancy Scanlan’s article, “Treating Arthritis With Integrative Medicine” [September 2010], contained an error. She stated, “Acupuncture may be performed by a human acupuncturist under a veterinarian’s supervision.” This is not true as a blanket statement.Dr. Nancy Scanlan’s article, “Treating Arthritis With Integrative Medicine” [September 2010], contained an error. She stated, “Acupuncture may be performed by a human acupuncturist under a veterinarian’s supervision.” This is not true as a blanket statement.lettersVeterinary Practice News October 2010 Letters to the Editor.

Not in Texas

Editor:
Dr. Nancy Scanlan’s article, “Treating Arthritis With Integrative Medicine” [September 2010], contained an error. She stated, “Acupuncture may be performed by a human acupuncturist under a veterinarian’s supervision.” This is not true as a blanket statement.
 
In Texas, only licensed veterinarians may perform acupuncture on animals. I suspect that other states have similar rules in their Practice Acts.

I was disappointed by that comment and by the sentence in general, as it went on to state: “… but veterinarians certified in acupuncture are often preferable because they know more about drugs and animals.” Considering Dr. Scanlan’s credentials, including acupuncture certification, I am dismayed that she did not word this appropriately.
 
Veterinarians certified in acupuncture should be recommended as the first line for this therapy. And it is not because we “know more about drugs and animals.” Veterinarians with a CVA are highly skilled and trained in traditional Chinese veterinary medicine and in veterinary acupuncture.

Carlye Rose,
DVM, Dipl. ABVP
Houston


Quality Offering

Editor:
I want to thank you for Dr. Alice Villalobos’ Quality of Life Scale, which helps people like me in our efforts to provide quality end-of-life care for our beloved pets. I print a copy at the end of each day spent caring for my dog, and it allows me to honestly and objectively evaluate how we are doing.
  
My sweet girl is a 13-year-old German shepherd rescue suffering from hemangiosarcoma. I’m certain an abdominal bleed ultimately will take her life, but in the meantime I am determined to provide her a quality death, just as I have provided her a quality life.

Roberta Glennon
Victoria, British Columbia
Editor’s note: Dr. Villalobos’ Quality of Life Scale may be found on the Columns page at VeterinaryPracticeNews.com.


Handy for Herbs

Editor:
I appreciated the article “Getting Started with Chinese Herbs,” by Dr. Nancy Scanlan [June 2010].

I am not trained in TCM but am interested in learning more. I get overwhelmed with the different language of the TCM diagnoses and herb names. Dr. Scanlan’s article was basic and well-organized; perfect for a beginner.

I hope to see more articles by Dr. Scanlan in the future.
Lisa Brienen, DVM
Mercer Island, Wash.


High Cost of Research

Editor:
I read with interest Jessica Tremayne’s article “Pain Control A Necessity, Not Option” [August 2010].
Ms. Tremayne quotes Dr. Butch KuKanich as saying, “It costs $50 million on average for a veterinary clinical trial,” and he goes on to say this high cost is the reason companies don’t conduct clinical trials of pain medication.

The Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine requires any animal medication that claims to treat or control pain to be tested in a clinical trial conducted under rigorous specifications and submitted to the center for review. All the NSAIDs currently marketed for the control of pain associated with osteoarthritis or post-surgical pain have been tested in well-controlled, blinded clinical trials. More information about the design of these trials can be found on the center’s website.

The company I co-founded, AlcheraBio, is a contract research organization that conducts clinical trials for animal health companies. As such, we have an accurate understanding of the costs of veterinary clinical trials. On average, the cost of a clinical trial required for approval of a cat or dog medication by the center can be from $1 million to $2 million. There is no veterinary clinical trial that I am aware of in my 22 years in the pharmaceutical industry that has costs on the order of magnitude that Dr. KuKanich suggests.
Of course, there are medications used “off label” for the control of animal pain that are not FDA approved and may not have been tested in a rigorous clinical trial.

The article goes on to say, “Manufacturers don’t see a profit coming from conducting the research, some say.” On the contrary, a well-controlled statistically significant clinical trial result, if the drug shows effectiveness against pain, can be used by manufacturers to help market their product.

Linda Rhodes, VMD, Ph.D.
Vice president of
clinical development
AlcheraBio LLC
Metuchen, N.J.

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