Recently, Zoetis announced to the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) that it is “urgently seeking to secure product” given the critical shortage of fluids in equine medicine. The AAEP and AVMA have been in dialog together with Zoetis, requesting that Zoetis work with a supplier to manufacture five-liter sterile fluids (also see recent post on FDA allowance of temporary distribution of Hartmann’s IV solution from Australia). We welcome the opportunity to continue the dialog on this important subject and thank Zoetis for any assistance it can provide to ensure a ready supply of large-volume sterile fluids for use in horses and other large animals.
There has been a long, multi-year history of global supply challenges in the intravenous fluids market (both human and veterinary). With our acquisition of the fluids business from Abbott Animal Health in February 2015, we have begun to evaluate this segment in greater detail and we are evaluating all supply options.
The supply challenges are primarily the result of changes in the regulatory oversight of IV fluids manufactured for human use, but have ultimately led to intermittent supply disruptions for veterinarians as well. The fluids used in human medicine are virtually the same as those used in veterinary medicine. However, the former Abbott Animal Health fluids had the distinction of being the only products labeled specifically for veterinary use. It is our current understanding that supply for all providers continues to be difficult and frequently disrupted.
We are acutely aware of how sensitive this situation is and the importance of fluid supply for our veterinary customers. We are actively and urgently seeking to secure product with registered suppliers. We are also working closely with FDA/CVM to explore other potential solutions.
Zoetis will communicate with our veterinary customers as our evaluation progresses.”