Euthanasia solution reentering market

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Posted June 15, 2000

Phone calls made May 30 by AVMA staff to a number of suppliers of dosage form euthanasia solution revealed that the product has been trickling in regularly, leading to a general attitude of optimism. Some suppliers had run out of the solution, however, and did not expect to have any available until late summer.

Since late March the AVMA has received calls from members who are encountering a shortage of euthanasia solution, caused by an interruption in the supply of raw sodium pentobarbital used in the manufacture of the final product.

An FDA exemption allowed multiple tons of raw material to be shipped in mid-April for further manufacture into dosage-form euthanasia solution. Market volatility related to increased orders may be contributing to the repeated back orders on that batch of product. One supplier, for example, said his orders are much higher than usual for this time of year.

To ease drug availability, the manufacturer of raw sodium pentobarbital planned (as of press time in early June) to produce another batch in June.

The AVMA remains in close communication with the FDA, the manufacturer of the raw material, and suppliers. For alternative euthanasia methods, check the following Web site for access to the 1993 Report of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia: (go to Publications, and then Reports, Proceedings, Manuals & Other Documents). The AAEP has elaborated on the principles found in that report and provides guidance in the members area of its Web site.