Vetmedin Shortage?

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Vetmedin Shortage?

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  • #93552 Report Abuse

    Karen D
    Member

    Hi all, Peanut has been on Vetmedin since last Feb. after she fainted & Vet found a murmur…I called today for a refill & was told they had ONE bottle & they could only part with 1/2 of that due to it being back ordered & we are looking at 3 weeks to a month. When I asked what people are supposed to do she said I don’t know but a lot of dogs are going to die.
    I called California Online vet pharmacy & they have some but how do I know if it’s the real deal? I am shocked…..it is already a very costly medicine but to be unavailable???
    Karen

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by  Mike Sagman. Reason: Changed title from Vetmedin "Storage" to "Shortage" at request of the posting member
    #93553 Report Abuse

    Karen D
    Member

    NOT storage Shortage!!!!

    #93554 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member

    Did you call other veterinary clinics in your area to see if they have the med, how about the emergency place, they should be fully stocked?
    Ask your vet about veterinary pharmacies, some are okay. Your vet can fax them a prescription, the vet may ask you to sign a waiver.
    I have used that California Pet Pharmacy in the past without problems for heartworm pills.

    https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/online-pharmacies.aspx

    PS: Is she due for an annual exam? Maybe the vet wants to re-evaluate the dog first, regarding the need and dosage of the med before refilling. Check labs, etc.

    #93555 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member

    Tips for Buying Pet Drugs Online
    Order from a Web site that belongs to a Vet-VIPPS accredited pharmacy. Vet-VIPPS—the Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites—is a voluntary accreditation program of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). NABP gives the Vet-VIPPS seal to online pharmacies that dispense prescription animal drugs and comply with NABP’s strict criteria, including federal and state licensing and inspection requirements, protecting patient confidentiality, quality assurance, and validity of prescription orders. Look for the Vet-VIPPS seal displayed on a pharmacy’s Web site or check with NABP (click on “Accreditation Programs”) to find out if a pharmacy is Vet-VIPPS accredited. Because this is a new program, begun in 2009, a small number of pharmacies are currently Vet-VIPPS accredited.
    (excerpt from) http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm048164.htm

    #93556 Report Abuse

    Karen D
    Member

    anon101 thanks for the speedy reply & info…..We see the vet every month for heart check so that is not the issue. From all sites I checked the manufacturer is at fault regarding the shortage….some sites say end of Jan. some are saying middle of Feb. before they receive a supply….My Vet was out when I called yesterday so I will speak to her today when I pick up the half bottle and find out what I am supposed to do when that runs out, 25 pills is <2weeks worth @ 2X dosing. I spoke to California Pet Pharmacy late yesterday & they do have a 5mg in stock that I can cut in half…..just hoping my vet with send them a script as she is very adamant about not buying online.

    P.S. My vet has been giving 😉 me the donated & samples of Vetmedin as we are seniors on a fixed income.

    #93557 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member

    When you see your vet, ask if there is a human medication that’s the same thing, maybe with a different name? Because, if so, your local pharmacy may carry it. My vet called a script for my my dog to the local CVS, I forget which med it was now….
    Edit: I remember, it was liquid prednisone.

    #93564 Report Abuse

    pitlove
    Member

    According to my Pharmacology textbook, Vetmedin (pimobendan) is a Inotropic Mixed Dilator and there is only a veterinary label for it. A lot of the drugs in my text do have a human label as well, but it looks as if this one was specifically designed for veterinary medicine.

    Karen- There are other Positive Inotropic drugs on the market, but you would need to contact the vet to find out if another drug could be used in place of Vetmedin during the shortage. However, I feel that if that was an option, it likely would have been offered already.

    #93566 Report Abuse

    Karen D
    Member

    Thank you pitluv, I will find out today whether there is an alternative or if maybe I can give one a day to stretch it out till the supply is back.

    P.S. Wish I could edit title to this thread to read Shortage??

    #93578 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member

    “Wish I could edit title to this thread to read Shortage??

    Maybe, if you leave a message for them to change it at “contact us”
    See bottom of page, to the right

    #93580 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member

    Here it is! https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/contact-us/guest-support/
    Re: “Wish I could edit title to this thread to read Shortage??”

    #93591 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member

    Another thought, press the Report Abuse button, then report yourself for making an error and request the correction.

    #93662 Report Abuse

    Whitney L
    Member

    I’ve been ordering Vetmedin through Allivet.com for a year and a half with no issue. Try there: http://www.allivet.com/
    It’s also a lot less expensive than what you pay at the vet. I also order my dog’s enalapril and lasix there too.

    #93664 Report Abuse

    Karen D
    Member

    Thank you, good to know Whitney L. I picked up the 1/2 bottle yesterday, 25 pills for $38 ouch! They said they would call later to let me know what to do after those run out & they did call & told my husband to tell me not to worry more would be available in a few days. So I don’t know what to think. But sure will look into allivet & california pet pharmacy.
    Does anyone know how it works when the vet gets pills (free) from the sales people who work for the company & then passes them on to those who really can’t afford the monthly cost? I’m sure there isn’t an unlimited supply. I understand they also get donated pills & also pass them on. Thank goodness as this Vetmedin is just so expensive.
    Karen

    #93666 Report Abuse

    Whitney L
    Member

    Yikes. Definitely go online and start ordering from Allivet or another similar site (accredited, like someone mentioned above). I pay just under $33 for a bottle of 50. If you put your order on recurring, you’ll save 5%, and orders over $50 get free shipping. You’ll need to input your vet’s information and they can contact directly. I think you can fax your script, but I think it’s easier to let them do it. Their customer service reps have always been pleasant to work with on the few occasions I have spoken with them.

    As for the samples at the vet’s office, I can’t offer any advisement on that.

    #93686 Report Abuse

    Rina S
    Member

    I’ve been using California Pet Pharmacy for Vetmedin and other meds for over 2 years. No issues at all and prices are better than at the vet’s office. Don’t hesitate. Order before they run out. That backorder can extend beyond the expected availability date of Feb 2017. You never know .

    #96766 Report Abuse

    Karen D
    Member

    UPDATE, there still seems to be a problem with the supply of Vetmedin, & I was also informed that there are no more samples, this last full order from vet was the generic( Pimobendan) & cost to me was her cost she said $66….So, I just placed my 1st order with California Pet Pharmacy, now they have a notice on their page regarding Vetmedin supply. Says only one order can be placed every 2 weeks. Anyway, wanted to thank you all for your replies & recommendations.
    Karen

    #96793 Report Abuse

    Dave G
    Member

    I’ve been getting 10mg tablets from Allivet for some time and they’ve been out since before Christmas. My vet has has had it available but it has been close to $30/bottle more than allivet.
    My vets solution if it runs out entirely is a compounding pharmacy. Consider asking your vet about doing the same

    #96795 Report Abuse

    Karen D
    Member

    Thank you Dave G. I am shocked that the generic version I bought 2 weeks ago from my Vet was $66 for 30 days supply & in capsule form so no splitting a larger dose as I have done in the past with the chewables. I ordered 5mg chewables yesterday from CA pet Pharmacy for $59.99 for 50 pills, which split will give me a much better deal & they shipped them already. Also ordered the Micronazole (sp) from them which was $14.50 from vet for 15 pills, they charged $6.50, plus no tax to me.
    Unfortunately Peanut is 15 yrs old so I won’t be needing to buy these things that much longer. ;-(
    Karen

    #119120 Report Abuse

    Kirk W
    Member

    I just got an e-mail from my online pharmacy telling me Vetmedin was out of stock and the backlog could be months. Called CA Pet Pharmacy, I live in NE., they told me the rationing had been lifted by the manufacturer and patients could order up to two bottles per week! I’m having my Vet fax over an order today. Thank you for the advice. I had to put one dog down this month and wasn’t looking forward to making it two or watching my little guy suffer.

    #119877 Report Abuse

    Michelle G
    Member

    i’m glad(?) i’m not the only one having issues. my dog collapsed in April and a murmur was found – just like OP. my dog is currently on 7.5mg 2x/day… i’ve been getting the 5mg pills through petcarerx because they have some yearly service you can sign up for and get the meds WAY cheaper. my vet charges 100 for 50 tabs, this place, with the discount, charge $58. so it seemed to be worth it considering he’s on 3 different meds for his heart failure. that being said, i tried to refill mid july and they were out, so i ordered thru my vet. 50 pills doesnt go very far when you are using 3 a day! tried to reorder last week and the website was out, and so was my vet! thankfully they got them back in stock in the office the day before i ran out (had a weeks worth – planned ahead to account for shipping!). just talked to petcarerx today and they still dont have 5mg, and dont know when it will come in, but they did have 10mg. so i got 50 for $79. that plus the 50 5mg from my vet will hopefully last thru this shortage (half of each=7.5mg=50 day supply), but this is scary since there doesnt seem to be much of an option as a replacement!!

    #128610 Report Abuse

    David N
    Member

    I’ve had the same problem: shortage of vetmedin. I contacted my dog Sparky’s cardiac vet. They are going to submit a prescription to a compounding pharmacy (either Wedgewood Pharmacy or Stokes Pharmacy). With the shortage, the compounding pharmacy can prepare the prescription; it will probably be more costly but if you are desperate, this may be the best short-term solution. Hopefully, the manufacturer will soon solve the problem. Good luck. I’ll let everyone know how well thia works.

    #129397 Report Abuse

    Dean R
    Member

    I have just run into what appears to be a shortage of vetmedin in the last two days. I finally got sick of the high prices for this medication. So, I tried some of the better known online sites including Chewy, 1800petmeds, Allivet and a couple of others. What I found is there is a shortage, especially of the doses higher than 1.25mg. Even the 1.25 mg tabs seem to be disappearing. I was finally able to order from Pet Valuemart in California, but something does seem to be affecting the supply of this medication.
    A little quick calculation has shown me that the higher doses are cheaper per day when you have a smaller dog. I wonder if that fact is part of the drying up supply?
    An example, with 1.25mg tabs in a 50 tab bottle I get 20 days (2.5 tabs per day). I get 40 days with the 2.5mg tabs and the price is never even close to twice as much.

    #129467 Report Abuse

    Martha M
    Member

    Yes, the shortage for this insanely expensive Vetmedin is deplorable. It has been going on for some time and the latest update from a pharmacy I’ve used is that they were recently told not to expect any updates any time in the near future as to when it would be readily available. I own a working Labrador retriever that was diagnosed with DCM this past November, and the difficulty I’ve had in obtaining this med threw me into a complete panic.
    Saw this thread and signed on to post the following info that I hope will be helpful for some of you in the same boat:
    Because of the shortage many vets (including my own) have turned to compounding pharmacies to have Pimobendin compounded for their clients. Vetmedin is the chewable form of Pimobendan. There is an online compounding pharmacy which makes Pimobendan (see link at the end of my post) in a Flex-Dose tablet (not a chewable, btw) which is scored in such a way as to offer an amazing dosing flexibility. The tablets are scored twice on one side to allow for easy dosing of 1/3 of a tablet and once on the other side to allow for easy dosing of 1/2 of a tablet. The pills are designed so that they are easily snapped into with your fingers and they offer 4 strengths which will provide dosing options for most prescribing needs (3.75mg, 7.5mg, 15mg, and 20mg). The cost savings is SIGNIFICANT. My 62-pound lab requires 10mg twice a day; so, for me, the 20mg tablet snapped in half is perfect. AND, you can order either a 30, 60, 90 or 120-day supply at one time, which is also SIGNIFICANT.
    To give you a cost comparison – for my dog, a bottle of 50 (10mg) Vetmedin tablets costs $89.99 through KVSupply.com, which was the best online price I could find; and it lasts only 25 days. That makes the cost of Vetmedin for me $3.60/day for a 25-day supply.
    I can get a 120-day (4 months) supply of Pimobendan through this compounding pharmacy for $199.95 which works out to be $1.67/day – less than half the cost of Vetmedin through the least expensive supplier I’ve found. The cost per pill depends on how many pills you choose to order, and the 120-day supply works out to be the least expensive per day, but even the 30-day supply @ $69.95 is way cheaper than Vetmedin. And shipping is free, as well.
    I have thoroughly vetted the company, which carries a voluntary PCAB accreditation through ACHC. They compound medications for both humans and pets. Understand that compounding pharmacies are different from those that offer commercial medications. The only difference between the Vetmedin chewable and the Pimobendan tablet is that the Vetmedin chewable has fillers to make it appealing to dogs and the plain Pimobendan is just that – no fillers.
    The only other thing I should tell you is that they are currently licensed in only certain states, so depending on where you live you may not be able to order from them. Thankfully that is not an issue for me. They are licensed in over 30 states, however. My own state of TN was recently added to their list a couple of months ago; so if your state isn’t on their list yet and you are interested I would continue to check with them, even call (they are extremely helpful and are very much aware of the issues the Vetmedin shortage is causing).
    Following are some links I would encourage you to check out: the compounding pharmacy, (CareFirst Rx), the states where they are licensed and the accrediting organization that provides their PCAB (Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board) accreditation. I have spoken at length with ACHC as well and they were also very helpful. Not sure if these will post as actual links but you should be able to copy and paste the URLs if not.

    CareFirst Rx – https://www.cfspharmacy.pharmacy/veterinary-medicine/veterinary-cardiology/pimobendan-tablets-compounded

    Map of states where they are licensed – https://www.cfspharmacy.pharmacy/shipping-info

    ACHC – https://www.achc.org/accreditation-locations.html

    Hope this will help some of you, at least.

    #129472 Report Abuse

    crazy4cats
    Member

    Martha M-

    I’m very sorry to hear about your dog’s diagnosis and your difficulty obtaining the necessary medicine for him/her. Do you suspect the DCM is diet related? This is a scary time with dogs being diagnosed with diet-related DCM at an alarming rate these days. Did your dog have any symptoms leading up to the scary news?

    Thank you for the information. Hopefully, it can help some people out. Best wishes to you and your pup!

    #129474 Report Abuse

    Michelle G
    Member

    is there a difference between dcm and mitral valve disease? our dog started with a cough about a week and a half before his collapse at age 9. and honestly it sounded like kennel cough (we have dealt with that a lot with our other dog so we knew that sound). we never even knew about a heart murmur until that day. his heart is so enlarged it presses on his sternum and esophagus. i never even knew there was a correlation to diet. he’s been on grain free his entire life because our other dog is allergic to wheat (and chicken… fun). he’s always had trouble seeming to calm down after exercise, and has been a few pounds over weight a handful of times in his life, so we just assumed he’s always had the leaky valve and didnt know about it until it got really bad but even the vet was a little confused as to why the murmur was never noticed previously….

    and thank you to the info on the compounding… might be looking into that. he’s on 7.5mg 2x a day, so i’ve been buying 5mg and 10mg to give him half of each at each dose to save money… but the price just doubled at both locations i had to buy from last week. $250 for a 50 day supply. ouch.

    #129477 Report Abuse

    crazy4cats
    Member

    Hi Michelle-
    I do not think they are the same, but here is a link that may help you. If you join the FB group, there are a few veterinarians that are admins and moderators that are educated on the subject. When I first joined the FB group, there were only a couple hundred members. Now, there are over 17,000. So, I feel that it is a little more difficult to know who knows what, but I’ve learned a lot! Check out their info page:

    https://taurinedcm.org/

    Good luck!

    #129482 Report Abuse

    Martha M
    Member

    Thank you, crazy4cats. Sophie was bitten by a rattlesnake while hunting and got a lethal dose of venom. During the course of trying to save her life they could not get her heart under control (she was throwing constant VPCs – premature ventricular contractions). Although she managed to survive the bite and subsequent infection following 2 doses of anti-venom and antibiotics, they decided to pursue the heart issue with an echocardiogram and discovered the DCM. Needless to say, we were completely stunned and devastated. She had never displayed any signs or symptoms of this condition. And she’s a 7-year old retriever who works hard in the cold weather during duck season.
    To answer Michelle G, DCM normally begins to affect the left ventricular wall (as it has in her case), weakening the heart muscle, and progresses to congestive heart failure. Sophie has a second part to her DCM and that is the arrhythmia she was experiencing in the emergency hospital. It’s not uncommon for this to accompany DCM, but it does put her at risk for sudden death. So she also takes a second heart med to regulate the arrhythmia, along with taurine supplementation. We have taken her to an outstanding veterinary cardiologist who happens to be in Nashville (we’re in Memphis) and she has confirmed the diagnosis. Sophie is in the occult phase of the disease (very early) and we are working closely with the cardiologist in the slight hope that it could be reversed.
    And yes, crazy4cats, we definitely do suspect the DCM is diet-related. I’ve fed my retrievers Orijen for years, thinking I was giving them the best I could. When Champion opened their U.S plant in KY a few years ago they changed the formula and started adding a number of legumes. Sophie had thrived on Orijen until that time but then started having stools that weren’t so great, enough that I would have to give her pumpkin to correct it periodically. In retrospect, how I wish I had switched her to something else then, but we had no idea.
    Before anyone goes nuts over my response that I believe this to be diet-related, allow me to clarify. Yes, in Sophie’s case we DO SUSPECT that (frankly one reason is because of the number of legumes used in the formula and how her digestive system clearly reacted to it). Even though the named legumes in Orijen are far down the ingredient list with excellent meat sources at the top, there are a grand total of 6 of them, in addition to green peas. This is known as ingredient splitting – name them separately and they are lower on the list, but if taken together as an entire group of legumes it would push them much higher on the list, and it consequently boosts the protein total as well, even though they are plant proteins.
    But there are so many things they don’t know yet about what’s causing this rise in DCM in breeds not known to contract it. Of course there is a lot yet to discover. Unfortunately for us, we don’t have the luxury of time. There is considerable suspicion that, in some dogs, legumes can interfere with the synthesis of taurine needed by the heart muscle. It’s very possible that Sophie is one of those dogs. We did test her taurine levels using a whole blood sample and they were within the normal range but the cardiologist told me just yesterday that may not necessarily tell the whole story about how her body is utilizing it, or not; and there could be other diet-related metabolic issues in her case, as well.
    She had called to say she was sending me a research article detailing the results of the study that was done on the group of golden retrievers and it was extremely informative. All the dogs diagnosed with DCM in the study had been consuming diets with similar characteristics, including grain-free, uncommon protein based, or legume-rich formulas (several had been fed Acana, and 1 had been fed Orijen; 52 healthy dogs were also part of the study). “Significant improvement in echocardiographic parameters and normalization of whole blood taurine concentrations from baseline to follow-up visits were observed in all but one dog after implementing a diet change and supplementation with taurine +/- L-carnitine.” Our cardiologist personally knows of two dogs that a change in diet successfully reversed the disease and knows of other cases where that has occurred, as well. Which is what makes me cling to hope.
    Of course there is no way to know if a different diet will help Sophie or not – I can only pray that it will. We’ll be returning for another echo in 6 months to see what, if any, changes there have been in her heart and will hope for good news. It has generally taken at least 6 months to demonstrate if a diet change is having any affect.

    #129485 Report Abuse

    Bobby dog
    Member

    Hi Martha M:
    Thanks for sharing your story, so sorry for Sophie and what your family is going through. I had a Retriever mix when I was a kid, loved that dog. Always up for a trail ride or other adventure.

    It really sounds like you have a team of Vet’s that are on top of everything and have the most current info!! I have read quite a few stories from owners stating their dogs showed no signs of DCM until it was too late or they stopped at blood work without pursuing an echo because taurine levels were fine only to discover later their dog did have DCM and they had lost valuable time to treat it. If a dog is on a diet that has added taurine they can test normal. It’s scary that pet food companies are adding taurine without any evidence it will remedy anything.

    I completely revamped my pet food criteria until this is figured out. It just doesn’t make sense to risk my dog’s health feeding any BEG diet. I still don’t feed jerky treats and if they never figure this out I will just stick with my current criteria.

    Positive thoughts that Sophie’s DCM is dietary and she is on her way to better health.

    #129486 Report Abuse

    Martha M
    Member

    Thank you so much, Bobby dog, for your kind words. I am indeed grateful for the vets I’m working with, including my regular main vet who happens to be a close friend and is keen to “do a deep dive” on all this with me.
    Sounds like you’ve read the Tufts.edu article by Lisa Freeman (the update on diet-associated DCM). If you’re interested here is a link to the research article my cardiologist sent me: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0209112
    I’ve switched my other lab to a new diet along with Sophie. Like you, I see no reason to risk her health until all this is sorted out.

    #129491 Report Abuse

    Bobby dog
    Member

    Thanks for your reply Martha! I read the study when it was released. I belong to the DCM FB group that Dr. Stern admins. He keeps the page updated with current news and recommendations concerning the DCM alert.

    Several years ago I had signed up for Tuft’s newsletters. So glad I did because Dr. Freeman’s “Broken Heart” article was the first I read about it.

    You may call it a “deep dive” I see it as a Vet and owner providing the best care possible plain and simple!! Keep positive and if you find time please post an update.

    #129492 Report Abuse

    Martha M
    Member

    Thanks, will do!

    #130301 Report Abuse

    Gary L
    Member

    Hi Y’all
    We just ran into the Vetmedin shortage this week. Our Vet sent us to what is called a compound pharmacy; meaning that they can compound the medicines on site. We were able to get the prescription filled at not much more cost than at our usual pharmacy.
    You might check for compound pharmacies in your area to see if they can do the same. It did come as a liquid instead of pill form but is the same other than that.

    #130809 Report Abuse

    wedgewood
    Member

    Hey Vets and owners,

    I’m sorry to hear about the vetmedin shortage however I work for a compounding pharmacy that does have the active ingredient call Pimobendan in a variety of strengths and administering forms. Ask your vet to find out pricing for you or you can email a picture of script to our information email at [email protected]. If you call we are unable to quote but if your vet calls we can give them information pertaining to whatever compounded medication you have in mind.

    #130880 Report Abuse

    Sheri B
    Member

    My furbaby passed on last week and I have an unopened package from the pharmacy (still in the shipping box) of 100 each Vetmedin 10mg if anyone is interested in buying. I’ll let it go at a good price. Contact me [email protected]

    #131074 Report Abuse

    Thomas C
    Member

    Karen,
    I m having the same problem. I get all my meds from Allivet and 1800petmeds, both have vetmedin on backorder so I’ve now resorted to using https://www.wedgewoodrx.com they make their own compounds of drugs so the national shortage of vet median is not a problem for them. It’s more expensive than what I’d been paying but my dog needs it and there’s no human equivalent.

    #131540 Report Abuse

    Kelley K
    Member

    I too was unable to get Vetmedin. I called my Vet and they were going to call in an order to a compounding pharmacy. This may be an option so check with your vet.dry Good luck.

    #131568 Report Abuse

    Jason G
    Member

    Brand new to the site and just wanted to help someone else. Our Beautiful Beau Bear (130 lb Chocolate lab), crossed the Rainbow Bridge 2 weeks ago in his sleep. Like everyone else on here, I loved our Big guy so very much. I searched websites and pharmacies to get these, until the so called shortage ended. I have 8 Vetmedin 10 mg pills to send to whomever needs them. Just give me an address and I will send them First Class USPS.

    #131647 Report Abuse

    J
    Member

    Hi Jason, I’m very sorry for your loss :-(. Thank you for being such a kind soul and trying to help others in need! Is there an email I can contact you at, if you still have the medicine? 80mg would be a 32 day supply for my little 13 y/o Pomeranian. My email is **********@gmail.com. Thanks again!

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