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May 15, 2020

In Short

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Comments sought on proposed specialty organization in nephrology and urology

The organizing committee for the proposed specialty of small animal nephrology and urology is seeking to establish a new veterinary specialty organization, the American College of Veterinary Nephrology and Urology.

The committee previously had petitioned the AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties for recognition of nephrology and urology as a new specialty within the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Now the committee is petitioning the ABVS for recognition as a new separate specialty organization instead.

The ABVS is seeking comments from the public and the profession regarding the proposed specialty organization focused on nephrology and urology.

Training requirements for the proposed specialty include completion of a two-year, web-based core curriculum and at least three full-time–equivalent years of focused clinical experience in nephrology and urology.

All AVMA-recognized specialty organizations and specialties comply with recognition guidelines outlined in the ABVS Policies and Procedures manual. People are encouraged to refer to those guidelines when developing comments regarding the proposed specialty organization focused on nephrology and urology.

Information about the proposed specialty is at jav.ma/ABVS. Send comments regarding recognition of nephrology and urology as a veterinary specialty organization to ABVSatavma [dot] org (ABVS[at]avma[dot]org). Comments must be signed and received no later than July 6.

Acid reflux drug pulled for containing carcinogenic contaminant

Manufacturers of ranitidine drugs were asked to withdraw both prescription and over-the-counter versions from the market immediately by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on April 1.

The agency has been investigating the contaminant N-Nitrosodimethylamine in ranitidine medications, commonly known by the brand name Zantac and used in human and veterinary medicine. NDMA is a probable carcinogen.

“The agency has determined that the impurity in some ranitidine products increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures and may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels of this impurity,” according to an FDA statement.

French drugmaker Sanofi already announced a recall this past October of the over-the-counter version of the acid reflux medication in the U.S. and Canada over concerns about possible contamination from NDMA. This action followed recalls by manufacturers and retailers of generic versions of the drug.

Last summer, the FDA conducted laboratory tests and found NDMA in ranitidine in low amounts. New FDA testing and evaluation confirmed that NDMA amounts increase in ranitidine even under normal storage conditions and that the longer the length of time since a ranitidine product was manufactured, the greater the amount of NDMA. The amount of NDMA in the ranitidine product may rise above the acceptable daily intake limit.

USDA moves to establish National List of Reportable Animal Diseases

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking stakeholder input as the department considers establishing a National List of Reportable Animal Diseases.

The USDA said the new list is necessary to streamline state and federal cooperative animal disease detection, response, and control efforts. Establishing a single list would consolidate and enhance current disease reporting mechanisms and would complement and supplement existing animal disease tracking and reporting at the state level.

The proposed regulations would establish the NLRAD with two categories—one for notifiable diseases and conditions and another for monitored diseases—and would specify reporting responsibilities for veterinarians and other animal health professionals encountering animal diseases, disease agents, or conditions listed as monitored or notifiable. The USDA also issued a draft NLRAD System Standards Document with the proposed rule.

The comment deadline is June 1. Comments can be submitted online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at regulations.gov under docket APHIS-2017-0002 or via mail to Docket No. APHIS-2017-0002, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.