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Animal Health Industry Monitors Availability Of Pharmaceuticals

March 19, 2020

Rhonda Brooks

With known shortages of disposable masks, gowns and caps in the marketplace due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a related concern is the availability of large animal pharmaceuticals—both prescription-based and over-the-counter (OTC) products.

The availability of 90% to 99% isopropyl alcohol “may be in a little shorter supply but still seems available,” notes Robert J. Callan, DVM, professor and chief of staff for the Large Animal Hospital at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Colorado State University. He says the same is true for bleach used as a surface disinfectant.

On a national basis, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports, “No current shortages are reported by any of the 32 animal drug companies that make finished drugs or source active pharmaceutical ingredients in China for the U.S. market, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"However, six of the firms have indicated that they see supply chain disruptions that soon could lead to shortages.”

Earlier this week, Boehringer Ingelheim’s U.S. Animal Health business issued a formal statement regarding the availability of veterinary products for cattle, in light of the pandemic.

“The continuous availability of our products to our patients and customers is of utmost priority to us. We have no immediate supply chain issues and do not foresee such problems to arise in the short term due to COVID-19," the company said.

"Our experts are monitoring the situation very closely and they are also assessing the global supply chain situation very proactively to guarantee the market supply into affected areas and also out of affected areas. Where possible and needed, we activate alternative options to source from elsewhere in the world – either through third-party or through our own production.”

Zoetis reports there has been no direct impact to its product supply and the company continues to monitor that closely with distributors. Per a prepared statement on its website, the company notes:

-If the situation evolves, we have a robust four to six months inventory on key products

-Border controls are evolving along with the situation, region by region. Zoetis has a well-established process to assess and act quickly on these developments and restore operations to normal levels and mitigate further impact to the business.

-Zoetis is monitoring all cargo movements and transportation lanes to ensure successful movement of goods throughout our network.

-At this time, all of our manufacturing sites around the world remain open. With the health and safety of our colleagues as our top priority, we are taking great care to ensure continuity at all our manufacturing sites. 

-Our field sales and technical representatives are available remotely.

-If you require an in-person visit from one of our representatives, please be assured they are following the health and hygiene guidance from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.If you work with a Zoetis representative, please reach out to him or her as your first point of contact.

Bovine Veterinarian has reached out to other pharmaceutical companies and will update this story as more information becomes available.



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