Removing Drugs From The Market
May I sound off for a moment?
Periodically I get comments and e-mails on MyPetsDoctor.com suggesting that this or that medication be removed from the market by the FDA, usually because “it killed my dog (or cat).”
These comments are bothersome for a number of reasons.
- Never, in my experience, are the claims backed up with medical evidence that the medication caused the pet’s demise. No necropsy was done, no laboratory tests showed a relationship to the drug, often there was not even a visit to the veterinarian.
- Except for preventive medications, such as heartworm prevention, pets rarely are administered drugs unless there was already something wrong with them. For example, usually elderly pets have arthritis and take arthritis medications. When these pets die unexpectedly some pet owners want to blame the drugs, when, in fact, these older pets were suffering from age-related kidney, liver, intestinal or other ailments simultaneously.
- Insisting a drug be pulled from the market ignores the help that drug is to thousands, possibly even millions of pets. How many arthritic dogs would have to be euthanized if they couldn’t have their daily arthritis dosage? How many dogs and cats would get no antibiotics at all if there were no Convenia long-acting injectable antibiotic available? Yet, there are those who would have these medications pulled because of a single unfortunate event that probably had no relationship to the medication at all.
Grief is a valid reason to lash out. We understand that anger is a natural part of the loss/grieving process. However, there is a reason that the approval process is handled by a huge number of experts.
Likewise, the de-approval process is heavily scrutinized before a pharmaceutical product is given a thumbs-down. Every “adverse event” reported to a pharmaceutical manufacturer must, by law, be further reported to the FDA.
When that body of scientific evidence points to a dangerous pattern in a drug, the experts act to discontinue its use.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.
covenia, convina, convinia, covinia