Efforts under way to replenish supplies of euthanasia solution

Published on May 01, 2000
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In late March the AVMA became aware of a shortage of euthanasia solution from members encountering difficulty obtaining it. The shortage arose after the FDA stopped the sole US manufacturer from producing the raw material used by other manufacturers to make euthanasia solution. The agency took action because production of the raw material was not in compliance with federal guidelines. Manufacturers' and distributors' supplies of finished dosage form euthansia solution began dwindling.

Into the first part of April, the AVMA located distributors with remaining supplies and posted their names each day in the Member Center of the AVMA Web site. By the second week of April, those reserves had apparently been depleted.

The FDA had advised the AVMA that the agency was working with the US manufacturer of the raw material to reinstitute manufacture of the product. At press time in mid-April, the manufacturer had produced multiple tons of raw material, under an exemption from the agency, and had shipped it to the dosage form manufacturers. The FDA projected that finished product could be available by the end of April or early May.

Besides the domestic route, the FDA had been working with the Drug Enforcement Administration to gain approval for importations of bulk and finished product from Canada and Europe. The agency has dropped the importation approach because US manufacture is faster.

During the interim, the AVMA has been referring personnel from veterinary clinics and animal control facilities who call to inquire about euthanasia solution to access the USDA Web site to identify alternative euthanasia methods recommended in the 1993 Report of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia. That site is www.nal.usda.gov/awic (go to Publications, and then Reports, Proceedings, Manuals & Other Documents).

As long as the shortage of euthanasia solution continues, regular updates will be provided on the AVMA Web site Member Center.