In a move supporters believe is a step toward the uniform regulation of medication and drug testing in North American racing, the regulators of eight states in the Northeast region have committed to a uniform medication and drug testing program.

The agreement announced on Tuesday, March 12, was spearheaded by the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (THA). It represents a dramatic change in medication regulation and testing and the THA believes it could pave the way for national uniformity. The participating states–New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Massachusetts–will implement the Mid Atlantic Uniform Medication Program.

"The largest concentration of racing in the United States on a daily basis is conducted in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Some 18 racetracks operate within a 200-mile radius," said THA chairman Alan Foreman in a release. "Many horsemen race in more than one state and, in some instances, on the same day. There is no region in the country where uniformity is more imperative than in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The horsemen have been asking for this for years, the time has come, and we are finally in a position to do it."

The program divides medications into two new categories–controlled therapeutic substances and prohibited substances. The controlled therapeutic substances category will limit horsemen and veterinarians to 24 medications that have been recognized as appropriate for therapeutic use in racehorses to treat illness or injury.

These therapeutic medications were identified following intensive consultation among the Amer