AAEP releases compounding guidelines

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The Drug Compounding Task Force of the American Association of Equine Practitioners has released guidelines regarding the responsible use of compounded medications by veterinarians. The guidelines are the result of the association's commitment to educating its members on this increasingly important topic within the animal health industry.

Compounding may be necessary if a veterinarian diagnoses a condition in an animal for which no Food and Drug Administration-approved animal or human drug, in its available dosage form and concentration, will appropriately treat the patient. For a drug to be compounded legally, however, a number of requirements must be met.

Issues addressed in the guidelines include the negative effects on efficacy that can result from using products not held to the government's standards for compounding as well as caveats regarding the use of bulk drugs in the preparation of compounded medications.

Dr. Elizabeth Curry-Galvin, assistant director of the AVMA Scientific Activities Division, says that veterinarians need to be careful when interpreting one paragraph in the guidelines. The paragraph reads: "Veterinarians are encouraged to contact their state pharmacy boards concerning the re-selling of compounded products. Some state pharmacy boards reportedly require compounded drugs to be dispensed at cost and some allow regular mark up."

Dr. Jim Morehead, chairman of the AAEP drug compounding task force, notes that the paragraph is referring to situations in which veterinarians deliver a drug that is compounded by a pharmacist for a particular patient. In contrast, while some states allow pharmacists to compound a drug for a veterinarian to use in their office, known as administration, it is often illegal for veterinarians to dispense those drugs, meaning repackage and relabel them, he says.

To view a copy of the guidelines, visit here.