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Special thanks to Susie Gordon, MD, Equine Cushing's Moderator who sent this information and obtained the permissions to post this on Dressage.com
Information For Owners Of Cushing’s Horses
This voluntary recall
has serious and potentially devastating implications for owners of horses
diagnosed with Cushing’s disease as Pergolide and Pergolide generics
have been the mainstay of treatment.
Eleanor Kellon, VMD
co-owner and moderator of the Equine Cushing’s List http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EquineCushings
is spearheading a nationwide effort to urge companies who market and
distribute Pergolide to keep this drug available for veterinary use.
can YOU help?
We need owners of
Cushing’s horses, veterinarians, and pharmacists to PLEASE sign the
following online petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/savepergolide/
PLEASE let these drug
manufacturers know how important this drug is to your horse, your clients,
and to your pharmacy practice.
Ian Hudgings, Equine
Cushing’s member and a pharmacist in
The following was
written by Dr. Kellon at the Equine Cushing’s website and is the most
current information we
have regarding Pergolide availability:
“Thanks to Ian chasing down the
details of the flow of pergolide, we now know that the pergolide being
used in your compounded veterinary/equine drugs, as well as the pergolide
that is in generic human capsules and even the brand name Permax, is all
coming from chemical manufacturers that are for the most part located in
Veterinary compounders get their
pergolide from drug wholesalers. There are, according to Ian, 7 drug
wholesalers in the
What this means, bottom line, is that
there is no reason for our pergolide supply to dry up. The Asian chemical
companies do business worldwide. Sale of pergolide for human use has only
been banned in the US, but the FDA doesn't care if wholesalers buy it and
sell it for veterinary off-label (not officially FDA approved) use because
veterinarians have always had a lot of freedom to prescribe any drug they
choose regardless of whether it is FDA approved for animal use (with
notable exceptions for food animals).
The current problem is that 3 of the 7
There's a very good chance these
wholesalers don't even know there is a veterinary market, let alone the
size of it. Odds are that almost all of the bulk pergolide sales they had
were actually going to compounders making products for horses. What we
need to do is make them aware of that.
I've been following the petition all
afternoon. It's going strong, almost 120 signatures in 7 to 8 hours. Keep
spreading the word. Put up messages on every horse group you're on and
e-mail every horse owner you know.
I spent a few hours this afternoon
contacting compounding pharmacies and associations. We need prescription
numbers. All of you using pergolide please contact your compounder and ask
them to sign the petition and also include the number of yearly or monthly
veterinary prescriptions they fill. Those numbers are absolutely critical.
Many of the compounding pharmacies also do human compounding so the
wholesalers may not get a completely accurate impression of what the drug
is being used for by checking their sales records.
Ask your vets to go sign the petition
and take a minute to make a comment on how many horses in their practices
are on pergolide.I've already notified my vets only group, and tomorrow
will tackle the AAEP and American Horse Council for support.
There's no reason we have to lose
access to pergolide. The key players right now are the wholesalers selling
to compounding pharmacies and to a lesser extent the companies that are
making pills. The drug is there, available without question. We just have
to convince the wholesalers to keep stocking it. The sooner we can put the
pressure on them the better. Ian said one wholesaler that's still carrying
it has already raised their prices by 400%. It's not clear yet whether
this is just one wholesaler price gouging (most likely), or if
international prices are going up in response to the FDA action, but
either way the more wholesalers we can keep in the game, the more
competitive pricing will remain.
We have a lot of power. Let's put it to
use. And, regardless of where you buy your horse's pergolide, let's give
Ian a standing ovation. We had a few false starts trying to sort through
this issue in the past week but he's been indispensable in getting to the
root of the problem.”
Help Is Needed NOW!!
As Dr. Kellon says,
we are a powerful force. Please
sign the petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/savepergolide/
veterinarians, farriers, and pharmacists know that Pergolide is CRUCIAL
to the health and well being of our Cushing’s horses.
on the Pergolide availability can be obtained by joining the Equine
Cushing’s list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EquineCushings
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