On April 8, IDEXX Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced it would no longer manufacture or sell protamine zinc insulin, marketed as PZI VET insulin.
PZI VET is derived from bovine and porcine pancreatic glands. The supply of this original raw material has been exhausted, wrote Dr. Randy Lynn, director of the professional services group at IDEXX, in a letter to veterinarians.
Because there are no facilities approved by the Food and Drug Administration for harvesting bovine pancreatic tissue, the company determined "after extensive study that further production of animal source insulin is not practical in a modern manufacturing environment."
Dr. Lynn said he expects PZI VET will be available through distributors for a period of time, which should allow for an orderly transition to other insulin treatments. Veterinarians are advised to check with IDEXX authorized distributors.
The company has also established a team of veterinarians to discuss management of feline diabetic patients. Veterinarians can call (800) 374-8006 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday, for information.
IDEXX has developed a new insulin product and is working toward gaining FDA approval, Dr. Lynn said.