February 01, 2014

 

 Heartworm treatment remains in short supply

Posted Jan. 15, 2014
 
The only treatment on the U.S. market for heartworm infection in dogs, Merial’s Immiticide, has been in short supply for two and a half years now.
 
The Food and Drug Administration announced Dec. 3, 2013, that it will continue to allow Merial to import some Immiticide from the company’s European supplier. Merial’s U.S. supplier also recently manufactured a small amount of the drug. The FDA and Merial are asking veterinarians to conserve supplies by using the drug only for dogs in most urgent need of treatment.
 
Since mid-2011, the U.S. supplier faced technical difficulties in manufacturing Immiticide. The supplier decided to close the facility where it made the drug. Merial is pursuing other options, according to the company, but securing approval of another manufacturer will take time.
 
The product from the U.S. supplier has a shorter period before expiration than is normal for Immiticide. The product from the European supplier has a normal period before expiration. For the European product, Merial will provide a copy of the U.S. package insert with each shipment.
 
Immiticide is available only directly from Merial. Veterinarians who identify dogs that require heartworm treatment can request the product by calling 888-637-4251, option 1.