AVMA names members of new task force to address federal veterinary compounding issues

By: Dr. Ashley Morgan, assistant director, Governmental Relations Division 

The AVMA has selected eight volunteer veterinarians to serve on a task force that will advocate for federal legislation and regulations addressing veterinary compounding needs.

The new Task Force on Veterinary Compounding Legislation will lead a national dialogue among veterinarians, pharmacists, drug manufacturers, and the Food and Drug Administration to determine how they can work together to ensure veterinary compounding is done safely and effectively. Discussions will include clarification of the need for legal compounding from bulk substances, anticipatory compounding, and administering and dispensing compounds maintained in the office.

The AVMA selected the task force members based on their knowledge of existing compounding policies and regulations, familiarity with practical aspects of using compounded medications, and expertise in the compounding needs of practitioners. They represent a wide range of veterinary medicine, including small animal, equine, exotics, food animal, zoo and wildlife, and pharmacology.

The eight veterinarians are:

  • Dr. Dawn Boothe
  • Dr. Colleen Currigan
  • Dr. Fred Gingrich
  • Dr. Chuck Lemme
  • Dr. Gary Magdesian
  • Dr. Kurt Sladky
  • Dr. Lori Thompson (Chair)
  • Dr. Wanda West

The formation of the task force is timely, considering the recent events in the equine community and the national attention given to the topic both in Congress and by the federal government. Last June, the Executive Board updated the AVMA’s policy regarding compounding to help the association advocate for the inclusion of veterinary compounding in federal legislation then under consideration. In late 2013, however, Congress passed and the president signed the Drug Quality and Security Act (H.R. 3204), which only addressed compounding for human medicine and did not change the laws which govern veterinarians.

Currently, the FDA is seeking to revise its compliance policy guide from 2003, “Compounding of Drugs for Use in Animals,” by the end of this calendar year. The AVMA submitted comments to the FDA, encouraging the agency to reference AVMA policies on veterinary compounding moving forward.

On the legislative front, Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska spoke during a November 2013 congressional hearing about his desire for legislation to address veterinary compounding issues. In January, Congress asked that the Government Accountability Office prepare a report on the compounding of drugs for use in animals.

The AVMA will keep its members informed as new developments arise with the task force. You can stay engaged by joining the AVMA’s Congressional Advocacy Network and signing up to receive the monthly e-newsletter, the Advocate.

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