UK Government Relaxes Flunixin Sale Suspension

For safety purposes, the UK VMD had suspended sales of several drugs, including flunixin, that are used in food-producing animals and contain the excipient diethanolamine.

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The UK VMD is working to allow the release of currently labelled flunixin onto the market for non-food horses only, provided it is accompanied by a 'Caution in Use' letter which outlines the conditions of use and restricts supply to non-food horses. | Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

The United Kingdom’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has relaxed its suspension of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug flunixin, which is commonly used in horses, in that country.

On July 26 the VMD announced it had suspended sales of some drugs used in “food-producing animals that contain the excipient diethanolamine (DEA),” the agency said in a statement on its website. “The VMD has done this in the light of the scientific opinion of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (the scientific advisory committee to the European Medicines Agency) that there may be a risk to humans from consuming food from animals treated with products containing DEA.”

The VMD included flunixin (commonly referred to as Banamine) in the suspension, which drew opposition from British veterinarians. Many, including the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA), called for the VMD to reverse the suspension

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Written by:

Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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