The FDA has just announced that they are anticipating a shortage of Vetsulin, an insulin used to treat diabetes in cats and dogs.
In 2009 the FDA voiced concerns about the stability of Vetsulin. The concern was that the insulin may not always have predictable results. What this means is that it may not always start acting as fast as expected, or may not last as long as expected. The FDA then recommended that owners of dogs and cats who were on Vetsulin speak to their veterinarians about switching to another type of insulin.
However, if a veterinarian felt that a pet could not be safely switched to another type of insulin then they could apply for the “Critical Need Program”. This program set aside a special supply of Vetsulin.
In November, 2010, some of this insulin that had been set aside was tested and did not meet quality control guidelines. They did state, however, that it is very unlikely that any pets who are on Vetsulin will be affected.
As a result, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health who makes Vetsulin will be discontinuing the Critical Need Program. If your pet is on this insulin you will need to speak to your veterinarian about switching.
In Canada, the equivalent to Vetsulin is Caninsulin.
At the time of the writing of this post, this shortage did not affect Caninsulin. The Canadian Intervet website did not mention any concerns about Caninsulin being pulled from the market. In October, 2011, there is now a shortage of Caninsulin in Canada. You can read more here: Caninsulin shortage.
[New Info]: Intervet/Schering Plough Animal Health is now saying that Vetsulin will indeed be back on the market. They are working hard to solve the problems with stability. However, they don’t know when that will happen. Note: As of October, 2011 Vetsulin is still not back on the market. I am suspicious that it is finished for good.
Have you been affected by the Vetsulin shortage? I’d love to have your comments on the situation.