Suspension of Flunixin Products containing Diethanolamine (DEA)
Following the VMD decision in the UK to suspend flunixin products containing DEA, the executive committee contacted the VMD to voice our concerns in regard to the welfare of non-food producing animals.
Below is part of the response from the VMD:
Under the terms of the product suspensions, no further stock may be released by the manufacturer’s qualified person (QP) to wholesalers; however, the VMD has not initiated a product recall or prohibited the supply of the products. This means that wholesalers may continue to supply the stock they currently hold and that veterinarians may continue to use this stock as usual. It seems that some wholesalers have not been releasing stock, which may have caused some immediate supply issues; we have now clarified the notice on our website.
In order to further address short-term availability concerns, we are collating information from MAHs on the levels of stock held by wholesalers and manufacturers and the estimated monthly usage. Based on this information, we will take the most appropriate option to help maintain the availability of stock to veterinarians for use in horses that have been signed out of the food chain (and other non-food animals, in compliance with the principles of the cascade) and we intend to monitor its availability through the MA holders.
The VMD is aware of vets’ concerns over longer term availability of flunixin for use in non-food producing horses. We have requested that MA holders who wish to restrict the labelled target species and indications for their products accordingly should contact us; however, such product development is a decision for the pharmaceutical industry and will take account of commercial factors amongst others.
In the longer term, as part of the process to lift the suspension of products to be used in food-producing animals, either an MRL must be established for DEA or the products must be reformulated to remove this substance, with appropriate supporting data being supplied.
Please visit the VMD website for regular updated information on this matter.