AVMA’s veterinary compounding legislation task force holds inaugural meeting

By: Dr. Lori Thompson, task force chair

AVMA Task Force on Veterinary Compounding LegislationThe AVMA Task Force on Veterinary Compounding Legislation held its first official meeting at the association’s Governmental Relations Division in Washington, D.C., on August 4-5.

The task force is charged with the development of a legislative proposal in accordance with AVMA’s policies on compounding. It is comprised of eight members who represent a wide range and depth of experience in academia, clinical pharmacology, feline medicine, food animal medicine, small animal and exotic practice, equine medicine, zoo animal and wildlife medicine, and lab animal medicine.

Over the course of the two-day meeting, task force members reviewed AVMA’s current compounding policies and learned more about the history of how changes to current legislation may or may not impact the practice of compounding for veterinary medicine. Representatives from the Animal Health Institute and the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists introduced the group to their current work on this topic on the first day. The following day, task force members met with the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Capitol Hill. These meetings laid the backdrop for several months of work ahead.

Stay tuned for updates over the next several months as task force members work to represent the needs of AVMA members with regard to this very important issue.

8 thoughts on “AVMA’s veterinary compounding legislation task force holds inaugural meeting

  1. I had a conference call with the CEO and COO of the compounder we use. They had been talking with the TN Pharm board who informed them that as of Jan 1, 2015, TN veterinarians would only be allowed to use compounded medications made for specific patients. No office inventory of compounded medications would be allowed for veterinarians. MD’s would have an exception through a proposed FDA regulation, but that will not cover DVM’s.

    As an emergency clinic veterinarian the loss of compounded medications in this era of indefinite backorders and unavailable drugs would severely harm patient care. We regularly use many injectable medications that are not available and have no substitutes (ie apomorphine). A patient only restriction would mean that emergency clinics would completely loose the use of compounded medications, even those that the compounder has a FDA/DEA license to wholesale.

    I would not normally look to the FDA to take actions to streamline a situation, but currently the pharmacy boards of all 50 different states are making their own rules that determine how we can practice.

    • Thank you for your comments, Dr. Davenport. We know how important access to office stock is for veterinarians, like yourself, and AVMA policy supports veterinarians’ ability to legally maintain sufficient quantities of compounded preparations in their office for urgent administration needs or emergency situations. This issue is one the task force will be considering. At the same time, we’d encourage you to engage with your state veterinary medical association since compounding for animals will continue to be governed at the state level for the foreseeable future. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you’d like to discuss further.

  2. Safety is the issue to balance with the needs of the patient and care-taker; in other words, we need safe resources that can formulate (compound) medications in forms or flavors that an animal (or group of animals, as noted above) will accept and/or forms that a physically challenged owner can measure and administer.

  3. I really hope that they do not impose restrictions that prevent shelters from getting compounded drugs that we need or impose restrictions that cause prices to rise. I am a shelter veterinarian and these concerns are of paramount importance to us as we use many compounded drugs.

  4. It’s disheartening to me that the FDA believes they need to regulate our practice of medicine.

  5. I would like to see the issue of dispensing compounded medications made for in-house use to clients for several days until we are able to order patient- specific compounded medications addressed.

  6. A very important job – thank you for taking this on. Another part of veterinary compounding issue that I just want to be sure is put before your committee is the perceived need for a prescripted compounded drug to be prescribed for one specific animal. It is difficult for those based in human medicine to concieve that a veterinarian can have a valid client-patient-doctor relationship with a group of animals. Those of us who may need a compounded drug for groups of animals (specifically rats/ rodents/ swine etc. in lab animal medicine or herds of animals in large animal) have difficulty prescribing for just one animal. In lab animal medicine we can prescribe for a certain protocol which covers a specific group of animals, of which we may not always know the individual animals until the protocol starts. Thank you.

  7. I have a home in the DC area, have a few contacts on the hill and would like to be contacted and see if I can be of help. One congressman, Ted Deutch, is from the area (in Florida) where a large group of Polo horses were poisoned in full view of the public as a direct result of a compounding pharmacy error.