FDA acts to boost supply of sterile fluids for treating large animals

fluidbags22/25/2015 Update: We have learned that some U.S.-based veterinary distributors are currently exploring opportunities to distribute the imported product in the USA.

Across the country, the scarcity of sterile fluids for use in human medicine is big news, ranging from local news outlets, to national Forbes and Fortune articles. Unfortunately, less well known is the severe impact that the unavailability of sterile fluids has had in veterinary medicine. The optimal care veterinarians provide to their patients has become more difficult.

Fortunately, the FDA has just announced that it is permitting temporary distribution of Hartmann’s IV solution, made by Sypharma Pty Ltd. of Australia. The FDA advises veterinarians to contact Sypharma directly at info@sypharma.com.au for information on how to access the product.

In making the announcement, the FDA said it “is aware that the U.S. is currently facing a shortage of 3-5 liter volume units of fluids intended for intravenous (IV) administration in large animals. These IV solutions are used to provide large animals with IV fluid replacement therapy.”

The FDA indicated that the shortage has been “triggered by a range of factors, including increased demand combined with a reduction in the manufacturing of sizes most suitable for use in large animals.”

Today’s announcement comes at a time when large-volume parenteral fluid shortages have become critical in equine medicine. In collaboration with the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the AVMA shared members’ concerns in a letter to the FDA last month, and we continue our discussions with FDA and other stakeholders to identify a long-term solution.

While the AVMA isn’t a regulatory body and we can’t control the marketplace, we are doing all we can to influence product availability on behalf of members and our patients. We look forward to your comments and feedback on this important issue.

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