Wednesday, December 06, 2006

But kitty, it's GOOD for you

Try telling a sick cat that it needs to take evil-tasting pink liquid amoxycillin to recover from an infection. Better yet, try telling our elderly cat Betaille that she needs to take evil-tasting pink liquid amoxycillin every day for the rest of her life.

Fortunately, our vet sent us along to the compounding pharmacy (Ballard Plaza Pharmacy) to get a custom mix of amoxycillin in tuna oil to replace the pink stuff. We pick up a fresh mixture of the tuna oil every six weeks or so; Betaille doesn't even notice it mashed into her wet cat food.

On our last visit to the pharmacy, the staff told me that, due to pressure from the AMA and major drug companies, the FDA may stop pharmacists from making compounded (custom mixed) drugs prescribed by physicians and vets. If this happens, consumer "choice" will be limited to products and dosages pre-packaged by the major drug companies.

Compounding pharmacies allow people who are poorly served by their pharamaceutical products to get access to more suitable versions of the drugs. People allergic to corn products, for instance, can't take Tylenol pills. A compounding pharmacy can make up the active ingredients in Tylenol without using the drug's corn stabilizer -- or at least they can now. If the AMA and the drug companies get their way, it'll be commercial Tylenol or nothing. Now that's a pain.

If you'd like to hear more about the problem (from the pharmacies' end) check out the website Patients and Professionals for Customized Care. The letter writing campaign (for pet owners) is at the foot of this page.

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