The makers of Vetsulin, Intervet Schering-Plough Animal Health, announced on February 7, 2011 they will no longer provide the drug, a porcine insulin zinc suspension, after the current supply is exhausted.
The discontinuation is due to possible bacterial contamination in an unreleased batch of the product. However, there have been stability concerns with the drug since 2009 and it has been in limited use since then.
According to Veterinary Practice News
The Vetsulin Critical Need Program was launched in May 2010, intended for a critical need dog or cat that, in the medical judgment of the pet’s veterinarian, could not be effectively managed by another insulin product.
The program was initiated about six months after the FDA announced concerns about the drug’s stability. The FDA was concerned that the product could have unpredictable onset and duration of action. Consequently, the FDA recommended that diabetic dogs and cats receiving Vetsulin be switched to other insulin products.
The letter to pet owners and veterinarians from Intervet Schering-Plough Animal Health can be found here. The company will be providing immediate instructions to veterinarians on how to manage the transition from Vetsulin to other insulin products.