FDA: Vetsulin in short supply; veterinarians called on to seek alternatives

FDA: Vetsulin in short supply; veterinarians called on to seek alternatives

Feb 07, 2011
By dvm360.com staff
Rockville, Md. -- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports there will be a shortage of Vetsulin (porcine insulin zinc suspension), a product used to treat diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats.

The product, manufactured by Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, is only available to animals currently enrolled in the Vetsulin Critical Need Program.

FDA says in prepared statement: "Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health has indicated that it will be sending letters to owners of the pets enrolled in the Vetsulin Critical Need Program and their veterinarians. In those letters, the firm will be notifying veterinarians and pet owners of the upcoming shortage of Vetsulin and consequent discontinuation of the Vetsulin Critical Need Program. Owners of diabetic cats and dogs are encouraged to consult their veterinarian as soon as possible about transitioning their pets to other insulin products," FDA says.

Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health is planning to provide detailed instructions to veterinarians on how to manage the transition.

In November 2009, FDA announced its concerns about the stability of Vetsulin, which may cause the product to have unpredictable onset and duration of action in treated dogs and cats. At that time, FDA recommended that diabetic dogs and cats currently receiving Vetsulin be switched to other insulin products. In May 2010, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health initiated the Vetsulin Critical Need Program, intended for a critical need dog or cat that, in the medical judgment of the pet’s veterinarian, could not be effectively managed on another insulin product.

In November 2010, sterility questions prevented the release of a new Vetsulin batch intended for the Critical Need Program.