I often speak with veterinarians who are challenged by the increasing difficulty of sourcing the medications they need to treat their patients. There are three basic sequential steps you can follow to help you find the medication your patient needs:
- Prescribe Veterinary Products
- Prescribe Human Products
- Prescribe Compounded Formulations
Step 1: Veterinary Distributors
Most veterinary facilities have a primary distributor and perhaps a few secondary distributers for their compound medications. Veterinary exclusive distributors typically offer the following drugs:
- Veterinary exclusive legend drugs
- Veterinary exclusive generic drugs
- A limited supply of human drugs
Remember, you should still double-check to ensure that the products supplied are FDA approved or qualify for extra-label use. For example, there is only one FDA approved veterinary-labeled thyroid medication, but there are many illegal sources of thyroid supplements.
Typically, veterinarians are best able to find what they need through veterinary exclusive distributors such as EPC, and this is as far as they should have to look. If not, or if you are a human pharmacy filling a veterinary prescription, proceed to step two.
Step 2: Human Distributors
Most pharmacists start their search for the correct medications with human exclusive distributors. The problem with this is that most retail pharmacies have very limited access to veterinary exclusive drugs because of exclusivity clauses made by veterinary drug manufacturers.
Like veterinarians, pharmacists often have multiple distributors, but they only have access to a greater supply of human drugs. This is why pharmacists often end up having to work with limited supply or go through a compounding supplier like Essential Pharmacy Compounding.
If you cannot find the medication you need though veterinary or human distributors, you may need to consider prescription compounds.
Step 3: Prescription Compounds
Prescription compounds are usually made by human or veterinary exclusive manufacturers and distributed by exclusive distributors. Veterinary compounders usually start and end their search with EPC because we have the largest variety of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) available.
Pharmacists, on the other hand, cannot source from veterinary facilities and therefore do not always have access to veterinary exclusive products from which to compound. However, as long as they belong to a licensed pharmacy, they have access to human products from which they can compound.
If the medication you need for your patient cannot be found through veterinary or human exclusive distributors, your last resort is to buy bulk API. When a veterinarian chooses to prescribe through EPC, they know that EPC protocol is to start with step one and proceed in sequential order to step three.
We consider compounding from bulk API a last resort, but it is becoming more and more common as veterinarians are finding it harder to source their medications through the usual routes.
If you need more information on sourcing veterinarian compounds or ordering bulk API, contact EPC FREE at 888-733-0300 ext 3.