Monday, January 18, 2010
Two veterinary drugs made by Teva Animal Health Inc. a division of Israeli-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries were recalled by the FDA, however, few veterinarians or pet owners are reported to be aware of the recall. Although there are reported five deaths of cats that led the FDA to issue public recall notices on Dec. 22 and Dec. 29, 2009, just what products are involved and over what time period they were manufactured and sold remains unclear. The recalls involve two commonly used injectable veterinary drugs: butorphanol a fast-acting opioid used to control pain from surgical procedures in dogs and cats and the anesthetic agent ketamine. Ketamine is part of a "cocktail" of drugs that induces anesthesia in animals including dogs and cats. It can be used usually with valium prior to surgery a dental cleaning and sometimes as a form of restraint for procedures such as an imaging scan. It's not the only drug that can be used in this way but it's one of the most common. The only explanation so far given as to just what's wrong with the recalled ketamine came in a press release issued by the FDA on Dec. 22 which said "This recall is being conducted as a result of an increased trend in serious adverse events associated with this product including lack of effect prolonged effect and death." Because pets are anesthetized more often than humans -- for example nearly all dogs and cats are spayed and neutered at a young age -- the potential number of affected animals is huge. Although it was the nation's largest manufacturer of generic animal drugs almost no one in the veterinarian community had heard of Teva Animal Health until the FDA shut it down on July 31 citing adulterated drugs and multiple violations of good manufacturing practices at its St. Joseph Mo. facility.
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Alan L. Morton
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