The company does not anticipate that it will resume sales of injectable opioids to the veterinary market until mid-2019.
Pfizer announced it has suspended the sale and delivery of injectable opioids to veterinary customers, effective immediately. The deferment is said to be in response to a supply shortage caused by multiple manufacturing problems.
“We value all customers and understand the importance of these medications, and regret the current need to prioritize shipments to hospital and surgical trading partners,” Pfizer spokesperson Steven Danehy told the Veterinary Information Network.
Pfizer halted veterinary sales in the second quarter of 2018 but has been grappling with a supply shortage since June 2017.
According to Danehy, Pfizer will not resume selling injectable opioids to the veterinary market until it has fully recovered from the shortage, which is not anticipated until the second quarter of 2019.
Initially, many in the veterinary community speculated that the shortage was connected to the opioid epidemic and was connected to the US Drug Enforcement Agency, which has adamantly denied the claim.
The FDA has also stated publicly that it has no plans to restrict the veterinary extralabel use of Schedule II opioids and, therefore, is not connected to the shortage or delay in providing veterinarians with access to the drugs.