Shortage of Isoflurane

13 December 2018

Zoetis supplies approximately two thirds of the UK's total Isoflurane anaesthetic gas need with IsoFlo (Isoflurane)

Zoetis, which supplies approximately two thirds of the UK's total Isoflurane anaesthetic gas need with IsoFlo (Isoflurane) has informed the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) of a supply issue due to a mechanical issue on the production line at a third-party manufacturing facility. Zoetis is reporting that it will not be able to supply IsoFlo in the period December 2018 to March 2019.

Suppliers are exploring alternatives and veterinary practices should contact their own suppliers directly for more information.

The VMD has stated that if veterinary surgeons identify and wish to use a suitable alternative product authorised outside of the UK to cover their immediate needs, an Import Certificate application can be submitted to the VMD.

BVA President Simon Doherty said:

“We are aware that there are significant problems with the supply chain for isoflurane and we are hearing some worrying reports that suppliers are asking vets to postpone routine operations. Prioritising cases may be a useful precaution, but it is not a long-term solution. It is essential animal health and welfare are not compromised by these supply problems and we would urge all suppliers to seek alternative sources as a matter of urgency.

“In the meantime, we are in contact with the CVO, VMD and the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists to gather as much information as possible.

“We are also aware that practices are reviewing the alternatives and putting plans in place to ensure the care and safety of all their patients.”

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