Update on isoflurane supply
11 January 2019
Restocking of the anaesthetic isoflurane in the UK supply chain is scheduled to commence from February, after a national shortage of the drugs availability was announced in December. Producers of the drug Zoetis issued updates to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) outlining to customers and the wider veterinary market the planned re-supply of IsoFlo (isoflurane) into the market.
In the update, Zoetis has promised to:
- Maintain Close communication and partnership with wholesalers, the VMD, BVA, BSAVA, BEVA and industry stakeholders alongside Veterinary customers to ensure the smoothest transition back to restocking and meeting the industries demand for IsoFlo
- Manage a series of deliveries of IsoFlo back in to the UK supply chain until they are able to meet the full demand, which may take several months to complete
Zoetis supply approximately two thirds of the UK’s total isoflurane anaesthetic gas needs with IsoFlo. They have worked closely with their third party manufacturing facility to resolve the recent situation, which has impacted European and wider International markets. Re-supply of IsoFlo to the UK market has been a priority for Zoetis, who have worked across the entire organisation and with stakeholders to normalise IsoFlo supply.
BSAVA support to address the shortage and support the Profession
To address the shortage of Isoflurane in the immediate term, BSAVA along with BEVA and AVA worked collaboratively with the VMD to ensure the availability of interim supplies to all veterinary practices. The resulting positive outcome highlighted the benefits of all parties working together to mitigate the risks to animal welfare and provide practical solutions of benefit to the profession.
The BSAVA also provided resources and advice to support all veterinary professionals working with small animals during the shortage. These included free access to the chapter on ‘Injectable anaesthetics’ from the BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Anaesthesia and Analgesia, 3rd edition was made available to both members and non-members, along with advice on alternative general anaesthesia options issues by Ian Self, Clinical Associate Professor and European & RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, University of Nottingham.
The BSAVA released a webinar, Anaesthesia without Isoflurane, where Ian Self answered questions supplied by members of the BSAVA on the isoflurane shortage. This webinar is available free of charge for BSAVA members and at a cost of £25.
BSAVA resources have been enormously popular throughout the supply issue, with the free injectable anaesthetics chapter being viewed 6452 times and the webinar being viewed 2563 times.