Skip to comments.Dog Heartworm Drug Supply Runs Out (Doggie Lover's PING)
Posted on 08/23/2011 7:14:11 AM PDT by Marie
FORT WORTH, Texas - If your dog has heartworms it will be harder to get a cure. The only company producing the parasite-killing drug has run out and veterinarians dont know when theyll get more.
Veterinarians across the country are in a quandary because Immiticide is the only FDA-approved drug available to treat dogs with heartworms.
Drug company Merial said its supply is gone and it cant produce any more because it cant get the drugs active ingredient in the United States. The FDA has been hesitant to allow overseas suppliers to fill American orders.
Vets are working with what they have left in their stock room or theyre prescribing a costly combination of drugs as a substitute to keep dogs stable.
Not only do we have to purchase the drug later, we dont know whether there is going to be an increase. We will have to keep the dogs stable until we get the Immiticide, said Dr. Cynthia Jones.
Dr. Jones said the situation is heartbreaking. She knows most shelters wont be able to afford the substitute treatment and families will be hesitant to pick up sick dogs. They may be put down.
Those dogs make wonderful pets. We can cure it. We can fix this. If we can fix a problem like this, we want to try, she said.
No one is quite sure when the heartworm drug will be available again.
Read more on myFOXdfw.com: http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/entertainment/pets/081211-dog-heartworm-drug-supply-runs-out#ixzz1VrOgSpgd
I discovered this recently when we took our daughter's adopted stray to be neutered. He tested positive for heartworm, but the vet told us that the medication is no longer available.
All they can do for him now is give him the monthly preventative and not allow any new heartworms to form, but that the adults will still be there.
The article says that there's an expensive alternative, but the vet told us that there was NO alternative treatment to kill the adults.
For the last few years, there's been a growing shortages for people and our beloved pets. My mother can no longer get Armour Thyroid and my daughter's migraine medication is no longer being manufactured. (My mother is having her thyroid medication made for her at a compounding pharmacy, but it's expensive. My daughter is out of options and is desperate.)
Now we can't treat a heartworm infection. This is a huge problem for dogs in Texas. Our vet told us that local shelters and most pet owners are just putting down every dog that tests positive.
What the heck is going on people?! We live in the richest country in the world in 2011 and we can't get basic, old medications??
Obama is like the Pharoah of the Old Testament, bringing one plague after another on us.
He is a monster, a freak, a failure at running a government unless his goal is, as I suspect, to totally destrooy us.
All these stories about drug shortages seem to just nibble around the edges. It says the US drug maker can no longer produce the drug because the active ingredient is not available in the US, and US authorities are reluctant to allow the ingredient to be imported.
They don’t say who supplied the active ingredient previously, why it is no longer available, why it would have to be imported and why the imports are not allowed.
Shoddy reporting by very un-curious reporters. And it seems to be the same in other stories about drug shortages: no explanation about why there are now shortages where there were none previously.
Moslems HATE dogs, don’t they?
Bo is just window dressing.
It's an eventual horrible death sentence for infected dogs across the entire south.
Thank you FDA and central government control freaks/tyrants.
When has Central Planning EVER worked???
What. The. Hell.
We adopted a great Lab mix from the pound who happened to be infested with heartworm. The treatment was done for free but it was very dangerous and we had to nurse him for several weeks afterward.
It’s a terrible way for these pups to go. Apparently they’d rather allow pets to die than import something that might be...dangerous?
I think Shoddy Reporting is part of the core curriculum in J-school. Somewhere along the line someone stopped telling the students it was a review of what NOT to do.
Good question, what is going on?
My little terrier died, 12 plus years old never had heart worms. My pitt bull is 10 years, never had heart worms. He has the softest, thickest hair, really nice.
I thought giving the preventative heart worm meds would kill a dog with heart worms.
He loks a combination of Mussolini and some Pharoah.
Great photo!! Thanks
As someone who works in the pharma industry, I can tell you that much of the API (active pharmaceutical ingredient) that goes into medicines is produced overseas. For whatever reason, API is becoming harder to find, and consequently, drug shortages.
I hate to think this, but maybe the administration is setting the stage to nationalize drug companies. That would be a total failure, and I would imagine that any new, innovative drug research would be halted.
the overseas supplier wouldn’t happen to be china, would it?
let’s see... obey the FDA and not produce the ingredients we need... ir let our dogs and elderly die... hmmm... tough decision
of course, the libtards are trying to make people disobey the govt... so they can crackdown
there is a solution... it’s been employed before
The answer, in one word: ivermectin. It can be used (in proper doses) for all sorts of worms, including heart worms. As a breeder, we use it, as it is cheap, can be purchased at feed stores, and it works. One $40 bottle of injectable ivermecin will last us over a year (with approximately 30 dogs at any one time). If you are curious about this, just ask your vet about the proper dosage (I cannot remember, as my wife actually does the monthly worming).
Joe, please put me on your ping list.
The FDA will soon make all kinds of human drugs in short supply.
We need to get rid of the people who are burdening their health care system.
Dosage is 1/2 cc. monthly can also be used in the treatment of red mange , all I ever use house and cow dawgs
Why can’t your mom get Armour? I knew they were having quality problems and recalls, but didn’t realize that it wasn’t available. Tell her to look into Nature-throid made by RLC Labs. My ND had me switch when they were having issues with the Armour. I’m able to get it at my local Target pharmacy, but they do have to order it for me.
Ivermectin is available in a paste form in equestrian shops. I’m no vet but I know many people who use this monthly and haven’t had heartworm problems in their pets. We use it and our pets are fine.
They gave him the first dose at the vet's and kept him all day for observation. The vet said that if he survived that, he'd be able to handle it.
Many drugs in short supply at hospitals, pharmacies
I actually have this on hand! The local farm and feed recommended it for our pets. We got a huge tube of it (for horses) for very little and it lasts forever.
I think I’m going back to talk to that farm and feed guy.
Fear Not. There is an herbal heartworm treatment that is very effective and much less dangerous to your dog’s health. I have used it and cured my dog’s heartworms with it.
About 10 years ago I took my dog (Beagle) Buddy in off the street and when I took him to the vet for a checkup and shots he tested positive for heartworms. They put him through the immiticide treatment which I cannot tell you how horrible it is and for 30 days afterward the dog has to be kept very quiet and can only be taken out in the yard on a leash to go to the bathroom. Its a nightmare. Anyway after 6 mos they re-tested and told me he was still testing weak positive for heartworms and they wanted to put Buddy through this treatment again. I was horrified. So I went online and started educating myself on heartworms.
I found an herbal alternative which had been developed by a lady in Atlanta where I live. Her dog Bandit had developed heartworms and the doctors said he was too old to treat. She researched the herbal way and came up with a remedy which cured her dog of the heartworms. I contacted an holistic vet who was familiar with the herbal treatment and she said my dog was probably a good candidate since he was not exhibiting any symptoms yet. She said to keep Buddy on his monthly heartworm (Heartguard Plus) meds and then give him the herbal treatment on top of it. I contacted Robin Sockness Bandit’s owner directly and she was good enough to call me on the phone and discuss the treatment. I purchased the herbs and began the daily regimen. 4 months later I took Buddy in for a heartworm test and he tested negative. He has never had a positive test since. The vet is still trying to come up with some other explanation for the cure.
Bottom line foks the vets will seldom if ever tell you this stuff but if your dog has a very mild case of heartworms and you just keep the dog on the Heartguard Plus in about 12 mos the few worms he has will die of old age and the monthly treatment will keep any other worms from forming.
I am posting the website to go to for Bandit’s cure. The main thing to remember is that you need to purchase the herbs from Nature’s Sunshine and you have to maintain the daily regimen pretty strictly. After about 4 mos your dog should be cured. Don’t forget to keep them on their monthly heartworm pill during treatment. This stuff really works. I will never ever put another dog through that immiticide treatment.
“All these stories about drug shortages seem to just nibble around the edges.”
Because this problem can be laid SQUARELY at the feet of OBAMA, and government regulation. WHO KNEW....
From the National Center for Policy Analysis:
A drug manufacturer must get approval for how much of a drug it plans to produce, as well as the timeframe. If a shortage develops (because, say, the FDA shuts down a competitors plant), a drug manufacturer cannot increase its output of that drug without another round of approvals. Nor can it alter its timetable production (producing a shortage drug earlier than planned) without FDA approval.
Even the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has a role because minute quantities of controlled substances are often used to make other drugs. This is the apparent reason for a nationwide shortage of ADHD drugs, for example, including the generic version of Ritalin. And like the FDA, DEA regulations are rigid and inflexible. For example, if a shortage develops and the manufacturers have reached their preauthorized production cap, a manufacturer cannot respond by increasing output without going back to the DEA for approval.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also has a role levying large fines for overcharging, forcing some companies to leave the generic market altogether.
Price Controls. Also contributing to the problems of many facilities is a little known program that forces drug manufacturers to give discounts to certain end users. The federal 340B drug rebate program was created in 1992 to provide discounted drugs to hospitals and clinics that treat a high number of indigent patients, clinics treating patients on Medicaid, hospitals and clinics in the Public Health Service and certain Federally Qualified Health Centers (more listed here). Currently, the law requires drug companies to provide rebates of 23.1 percent for brand drugs; and 13 percent for generic drugs off of their average manufacturers price on qualifying outpatient drug use. States have the right to negotiate further discounts and actual rebates negotiated are typically much steeper than the federal requirement.
This state of affairs did not start with the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). By expanding the number of hospitals and clinics that are allowed to participate in the program, however, the Affordable Care Act will make things worse. In 2002, about 8,000 hospitals and clinics were in the program. By 2010 more than 14,457 were participating. The total number of eligible hospitals and clinics is now estimated at nearly 20,000.
Economics teaches that when prices are kept artificially low, shortages develop. People cannot get all of the care they try to obtain at the existing rate. Also, regardless of the apparently multiple causes of the shortages, certain patterns tend to emerge. People respond to persistent shortages by doing things that invariably make the problem worse.
Why does the FDA regulate pet medicine? I mean, even if you feel like pets are people too, and you’d like the FDA to tell you whether they think a drug is safe, why take the extra step of prohibiting drugs that the FDA hasn’t proclaimed yet?
For people, you could argue that the risk of illness or death due to drugs is severe enough that the FDA needs to protect us from making our own bad choices.
But these are just dogs. And they are going to be killed if they don’t get HW medicine. So why prohibit importing medicine? It makes no sense. Just have the FDA put a stamp on stuff they approve, and the pet owners can decide if they want to risk using an untested foreign drug or putting their dog to sleep.
Having written that, what choice is that? Just give them the untested medicine, and if it makes them sicker, you can still just put them to sleep.
The government is into every single aspect of our lives. We need to get government off our backs, out of our medicine cabinets, out of our wallets, and out of our decision-making process.
This is where the Cass Sunstein ‘nudge’ becomes the ‘shove’. The same thing is happening to other drugs and medications. Anaesthesiologists can’t get what they need either - they’re making do with a secondary choice. There wil lbe ever more ‘regulations’ to follow. Until you’ve been ‘regulated’ out of your own life.
Wake up and smell the killing fields that inhabit the imaginations of the current occupants of the White House.
This is semi-off topic since I’m speaking of people drugs, not doggie drugs but I’ve been a nurse for 14 years & a nurse anesthetist for 6. I have never had to substitute, go without, or alter my care of patients due to drug shortages like I have the last 2 years. Something very strange is happening.
You cannot regulate something and get more of it, period, in any field and for any lame reason like Vets not making enough money or one out of ten thousand dogs who are treated getting ill or dying from the pills. What about the ten thousand that will die now that their owners can't afford to keep their dogs healthy? It's just another example of “concerned” people looking out for themselves and saying they're looking out for someone else.
Are you hearing any explanations for the shortages from your medical profession colleagues or drug company representatives?
Please go to petshed.com. That’s where I get my animals’ monthly wormers and flea and tick meds.
What really upsets me is that this little guy is the sweetest dog in the world. He’s calm, friendly and happy. We’re going to try to save him and he is worth saving.
I did my homework on ivermectin. It is the same medication in the monthly heartworm preventative. It does not kill the adults, but it does weaken them and shorten their lifespan.
In less than two years, the dog can become heartworm free with this medicine alone.
The problem we’re having at the moment is that the larva are dying and the little guy is pretty sick with that.
The vet says that we’ll know within 6 months if he’s healthy enough to survive the prolonged heartworm infection. In the meantime, we need to keep him calm and happy. He also said that sometimes it doesn’t work and the dog is not cured in the two-year time frame.
I agree with you. The alternative for these animals is usually death. Why not try?
Not really. Our OR pharmacy just sends an email saying “national backorder”. Once, I needed a drug for a liver transplant only to be told it was unavailable because the manufacturer decided nit to produce it anymore. About 6 months later, it showed up again.
Also, there seems to be more incidents for drugs being “recalled” due to a contamination problem. We haven’t had a certain steroid available for months since supposedly the lot was contaminated.
As I said, in 14 years, I cannot recall anything like what I’ve witnessed the last 2 years. Strange.
You’re right. See my post 27
Ivermectin is the primary component of the worming medication we give our horses. So far, no problsm with getting that.
Wow, I can’t thank you enough for that info. I tried a couple of dozen places online and never found that one. A lot of the others seemed to not require a prescription but then when you got to the checkout and entered your payment info they’d ask for the prescription information or would want to hold your order until you got back to them with it. It’s just crazy to jack the price of caring for your pets way, way, up when people have always been able to pick up the same medicine at Walmart or anywhere else that had even a small pet supply display. The whole thing is just like the scams that run in human health care. They know without even seeing you what’s required but they can’t prescribe it without seeing you or, worse still, they have to run tests to cover their butts even though there’s next to no chance that you have any problem other than the one they can diagnose over the phone. Thank God I’ve had the same doctor for thirty-five years and we both grew up in the same hometown. It avoids a lot of red tape crap whenever he can do so without getting his own tail in a jam.
My googling failed to turn up the reason for the shortage, other than some unspecified problem that caused the old manufacturer of the active ingredient (melarsomine dihydrochloride) to stop making it, and the drug company scrambling to find a another domestic manufacturer to make it (the FDA is disallowing foreign suppliers, for whatever reason).
Since melarsomine dihydrochloride contains arsenic, I suspect the EPA had something to do with the old manufacturer getting out of the business. Reporters in the current climate seem reluctant to trace problems back to the Obama administration's own policies.
Bump for later reading. There is some really good information in this thread.
There seems to have been some general more restrictive controls on some medicinal products. Three times in the past I’d ordered the product: Arnica tincture. It was labeled “For External Use Only”. I was prepared to order it again a couple of months back and was told that it is no longer available without a prescription. The only way I could obtain it now is for my doctor to order it, have it shipped to him, and then write me a prescription for it.
All it is is an herbal flower extracted in alcohol, so I’m just making a batch myself. But that is a weird new restriction as it is only mildly toxic and less toxic than many OTC products. It’s sold by homeopathic manufacturers and other tinctures of any degree of toxicity are also no longer available.
Thanks, good to know.
Thanks for the ping. I read the thread earlier, and the ivermectin sounds pretty good. It’s readily available from the feed store, I used to use it on my horses.
It does seem to work. Even with the prevalence of heart worm here in Louisiana, my dog has been on ivermectin for years. No problems.
Thank you for the ping; there’s some good information here. :-)
Thanks for your contribution to this thread! I was totally unaware that there were some breed specific issues with Ivermectin...of course, I’ve never owned one of those breeds. Your input is greatly appreciated!
I do not understand why we don’t know why we have shortages of certain drugs. This makes no sense, and you’re right, why is the media not on this story like white on rice?