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AVMA Forms Committee to Look at Compounded Drugs

The Task Force on Veterinary Compounding Legislation will lead a national dialogue among veterinarians, pharmacists, drug manufacturers and the FDA.

Compounded drugs are sometimes used to meet the needs of a particular patient.

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Animal drug compounding has drawn renewed attention from federal officials and now from the American Veterinary Medical Association, which this week announced the formation of a task force made up of eight veterinarians.

The group, formally called the Task Force on Veterinary Compounding Legislation, is experienced in compounding policies and regulations and understands the need for compounded veterinary drugs, AVMA reported Wednesday.

The eight veterinarians, AVMA stated, “will lead a national dialogue among veterinarians, pharmacists, drug manufacturers and the Food and Drug Administration to determine how they can work together to ensure veterinary compounding is done safely and effectively.”

“Discussions will include clarification of the need for legal compounding from bulk substances, anticipatory compounding, and administering and dispensing compounds maintained in the office,” the Schaumburg, Ill.-based AVMA added.

Veterinary compounding has drawn infrequent but unflattering headlines in recent years. An overdose of sodium selenite, prepared by Franck’s Compounding Pharmacy of Ocala, Fla., killed 21 polo ponies in 2009. Just last month, Wickliffe Veterinary Pharmacy of Lexington, Ky., acknowledged that it had produced a compounded drug that contained excessive levels of pyrimethamine. Four horses died.

The adverse events caught the attention of AVMA officials.

“The formation of the task force is timely, considering the recent events in the equine community and the national attention given to the topic both in Congress and by the federal government,” the organization stated.

FDA hopes to update the compliance policy guide “Compounding of Drugs for Use in Animals” by year’s end. In addition, legislators have broached the idea of new policies on veterinary compounding, and the Government Accountability Office was asked in January to prepare a report on the compounding of animal drugs.

The task force members have diverse backgrounds and experience in small animals, equine, exotic animals, food animals, zoo animals, wildlife and pharmacology. They are:

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• Dawn Boothe, DVM, MS, Ph.D., Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ACVCP, a professor of physiology and pharmacology at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine.

• Colleen Currigan, DVM, the founder of Cat Hospital of Chicago.

• Fred Gingrich, DVM, of Country Roads Veterinary Service in Ashland, Ohio.

• Chuck Lemme, DVM, of Blairs Ferry Pet Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

• Gary Magdesian, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ACVECC, Dipl. ACVCP, an emergency medicine and critical care specialist at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.

• Kurt Sladky, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACZM, a clinical associate professor of zoological medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.

• Lori Thompson, DVM, Dipl. ACVD, of the Animal Dermatology Clinic in Indianapolis.

• Wanda West, DVM, Ph.D., director of animal health and a veterinary research fellow at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Princeton, N.J.

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