Is Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health going to the dogs? A Toledo, Ohio, man has sued the drugmaker, which is now part ofMerck, for negligence for marketing faulty batches of Vetsulin, which is used to control diabetes in dogs and cats.
In his lawsuit, Larry Friedman claims the drugmaker should have known prior to a Nov. 2 warning from the FDA that its medication was contaminated or improperly manufactured. He also argues that Vetsulin should have been recalled. His 13-year-old terrier died of kidney failure earlier this month and he wound up spending more than $1,000 in vet bills.
The vet "came to our home. We put him to sleep in his bed, with us petting him," Freidman tells The Toledo Blade. "This is about getting justice for all the people who bought this product with the belief that it was going to help their dog or cat."
The FDA warned Vetsulin is "out of specification" and so could delay insulin activity. "Unstable insulin products can result in unpredictable fluctuations in the glucose levels of diabetic patients. Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health is unable to assure FDA that each batch of their product is stable," the warning continued. The agency and the drugmaker advised vets to "closely monitor" pets given the med for any signs of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. The warning indicated supplies may be limited; there was no mention of a recall. Similar info appears on the Vetsulin web site.