Saturday, August 25, 2007

Pergolide Availability in Canada

On August 16, 2007 Health Canada issued a public communication concerning the end of Permax sales in Canada as of August 30.

As this action was anticipated, Canadian Equine Cushings Group members and Dr. Eleanor Kellon have been engaged in an ongoing proactive approach to ensure the continuation of pergolide availability for equine use has been ongoing.

The following is an excerpt from a communication received by this group from the Veterinary Drugs Directorate - Health Canada:

Secondly, the compounding of drugs is not something that we here at the Vet Drugs Directorate regulate and compounding is dealt with differently in Canada than it is in the United States. It is regulated provincially for Canadian vets and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association also has guidelines for the use of compounded drugs in veterinary medicine. Pharmacists have their own associations which govern how their compounding practices and they can order Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients from the chemical companies that produce them even if a brand name drug is not labelled for animals. They do not need to use a brand name drug and they do not have to come through the Vet Drugs Directorate for authorization or access to the active ingredient.

As far as we know, the access that pharmacists have to the active pharmaceutical ingredient should not be affected by this recall in Canada. They should still be able to purchase the active ingredient from the chemical companies that make pergolide mesylate (that may be anywhere in the world). But only a pharmacist would be able to find out how easy or how expensive it would be for them to get the ingredient for compounding.

Updates will be provided as they become available.