You may recall that I posted some time ago on the shortage of Immiticide, the only drug approved to treat dogs for heartworms disease (that is, to kill the adult heartworms). They were going to have it all fixed by the end of March.
Well, now, last week it was after "March 31st", which was when I had
been told previously the shortage would be resolved. I called Merial,
and the first layer of staff said, "Not yet; they said late March or
early April." The "early April" was new to me. I asked to speak to
someone who actually knows what's going on, and she bumped me up to the
next tier in the hierarchy.
That person gave me the same story.
I said, "Look, I've been a good boy, and I haven't pretended my
patients have clinical signs when they don't. I haven't tried to order
product for dogs that are apparent lack of efficacy cases. I do have 12
people breathing down my neck wanting their dogs treated. It would help
if I could just get a straight answer for them on what the problem
actually is. Did you try to move the factory to Pakistan and the
Taliban took it over, or what?"
I still didn't get a straight
answer, but she asked how many dogs I had and what they weighed, and
sold me enough Immiticide to treat them.
Of course, I've got four
new dogs to treat since then that weren't on the original list.
can get every detail of Tiger Woods' indiscretions, can't we find out
what is actually going on at Merial? And where is Osama bin Laden?
Does HE have the Immiticide?
Well, here's the news from Veterinary Information Network today… finally:
Merial Statement on availability of IMMITICIDE® (melarsomine
Recently, Merial informed veterinarians that our
heartworm treatment product, IMMITICIDE® (melarsomine dihydrochloride),
was in limited supply because the active ingredient was no longer
available from its manufacturer—the only US source of the compound.
has now identified an alternative supplier for melarsomine—one that
already produces it for the European and international markets. However,
gaining US regulatory approval for the new manufacturer will take time.
In the meanwhile, Merial has instituted a temporary measure to extend
the supply of IMMITICIDE and continue to make it available to
Through a restricted distribution program
initiated in agreement with the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine
(CVM), veterinarians who have an immediate need to treat a dog with
heartworm disease will be able to purchase IMMITICIDE containing
melarsomine manufactured by the alternate supplier. This product must be
purchased directly through Merial. It will not be available through
Merial’s distributors, nor will it be available for purchase to stock
clinic inventories. Veterinarians who wish to purchase IMMITICIDE
should call Merial Technical Solutions
Merial is continuing to work closely
with FDA-CVM and the new melarsomine supplier to gain FDA approval for
this alternate facility and return to full supply of IMMITICIDE as soon
Not that this helps me or my patients, much. I still don't feel like we have the full story. They sell this stuff like gangbusters. Why would the supplier of the raw ingredient shut down when they have a guaranteed market? I still think Osama bin Laden may be involved somehow.