Uniformity among testing procedures and the development of a broad-based funding mechanism to support expanded testing programs and research were among 21 recommendations made by Racehorse Medication Summit report released Jan. 4.


The report also recommends that furosemide, better known as Salix or formerly Lasix, should be the only drug permitted on raceday, that one of five U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications be allowed no later than 24 hours prior to a race, and that substances to be classified as “true zero tolerance,” even with the most sensitive testing method, should be identified.


Recommendations in the report were the key issues that representatives of 15 national Thoroughbred, Standardbred, and Quarter Horse organizations agreed upon during the summit, which was held Dec. 4 in Tucson, Ariz. The summit was sponsored by the American Association of Equine Practitioners.


“The dialogue and the collaboration of the participants was unprecendented, and we believe the summit was a key first step in solving the complex and challenging issues surrounding medication,” said Dr. Wayne McIllwraith, immediate past president of the AAEP.


The report acknowledged that its scope is limited and focuses only on the major points in which consensus was achieved during the one-day meeting.


“It is recognized that there are other issues that will need to be addressed in the future,” the report stated.


“This document represents the earnest contributions of a group far broader and more diverse than that which has ever tackled the issue of drug testing reform,” said Jim Gallagher, executive director of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Racing Integrity and Drug Testing Task Force. “It is this selfless collaboration, we hope, that will lead to real progress.”


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