A cutback in manufacturing of certain drugs by Sandoz Canada, following by a fire in the plant that manufactures the drugs has led to a shortage of 100 medicines used for people and animals in Canada. Doctors and veterinarians are scrambling to find supplies from other countries now, particularly in the U.S.
The pet and feed animal medications made by Sandoz were essentially the same medications prescribed for humans, but in different strengths. Sandoz also made 90 percent of the injectable drugs sold in Canada.
Most of the drugs are painkillers, cancer drugs, and antibiotics. Painkillers, in particular, are in short supply in vets' offices, as are nausea drugs, and drugs needed to ease the impact of anaesthesia on frightened pets. Veterinarians are scrambling to find alternatives - compounding drugs from scratch, or restoring old protocols.
Jean Gauvin of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association said that he didn't think the pet drug problem would be solved until mid 2013. "We understand that the human side has to be served first," he said. "But we really believe that animal welfare is in jeopardy when a lot of these important drugs are not available."
That's the buzz for today!
Update: For readers who want the pill container, you can find it here.