How Many Dollars Would it Take for You to Kill Your Horse?

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That might seem like an outrageous headline, but horse owners every day are making a decision on pennies and dollars that could mean the death of their horses, whatever their real-world or emotional value. I’m not the only one who thinks this.

In the July 16, 2014, Congress Blog in The Hill newspaper/website from Washington, D.C., Peter J. Pitts, who is described as a former FDA associate commissioner and president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest and a member of the Animal Health Institute’s Board of Scientific Advisors, wrote a straight-forward piece about illegally compounded animal products.

There is nothing really new in this blog; for years some horse owners and trainers (and sometimes veterinarians) choose a cheaper, illegally manufactured product to replace a more expensive FDA-approved medication.

This is illegal; it always has been, and it will continue to be illegal under current federal law.

Legal compounding pharmacies know the rules and follow them. Sometimes a horse needs a specific drug delivered in an unconventional way (a tablet made into a liquid or a flavoring added to enhance palatability for one horse).

However, as Pitt described in his blog, “They [illegal compounding pharmacies] mass produce and market drugs that attempt to mimic FDA-approved products, often using untested bulk active ingredients, imported from countries that may not enforce the strict controls on drug manufacturing that FDA requires for approved products. These copies carry a cheaper price tag than approved drugs, but none of the consumer protection.”

Horses have died because of illegally compounded products. Horse owners and trainers have made the decision that to save a few dollars, they will risk using these illegal products. Therefore the difference in the price of the FDA-approved, tested, and proven product and the illegal knock-off is the value you place on your horse.

Think about it!