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Wedgewood introduces peppermint- and alfalfa-flavored Pergolide Gourmeds

12/1/2007

Wedgewood introduces peppermint- and alfalfa-flavored Pergolide Gourmeds™

(Swedesboro NJ, December 1, 2007) Wedgewood Pharmacy has introduced peppermint- and alfalfa-flavored Pergolide for horses in its popular Gourmeds™ dosage form. Gourmeds™ are chewable, naturally-flavored tablets that are easy to administer — and tasty as a treat. Gourmeds™ also is an economical medication form that costs about one-third the price of the same drug in suspension form.

Pergolide Mesylate, a drug used to treat Parkinson's disease in humans, was withdrawn voluntarily from the market in March 2007 because it was reported to carry a risk of serious heart-valve damage in humans. Equine veterinarians also prescribe the drug for horses with equine Cushing's Syndrome, to prevent the type of painful laminitis that ultimately resulted in the death of Barbaro, the thoroughbred who shattered his leg in the last year's Preakness Stakes. The withdrawal of the drug for human use had an unintended but serious side effect in barns, stables and pastures throughout the United States and left equine veterinarians scrambling for an alternative — and legal — source of this critical medicine.

George J. Malmberg, R.Ph., F.A.C.A, F.A.C.V.P., the pharmacist president and CEO of Wedgewood Pharmacy, noted: “You can lead a horse to its medicine but you can't make him take it. Even a miracle drug is useless if the animal won't comply. Medicating an animal using Gourmeds™ is a simple, one-step process that does not involve buying, storing or mixing any other flavoring product to improve compliance.”

Gourmeds™ currently are available to veterinarians in four other commonly prescribed pet medications, including Cisapride, Metronidazole, Diethylstilbestrol and Methimazole.

For a free, non-medicated sample of Gourmeds™, licensed prescribers may call 800.331.8272 or visit http://www.gourmeds.com/request.asp .

Wedgewood Pharmacy, one of the nation's largest compounding pharmacies, has become a key source for Pergolide, providing it in suspension form as well, by veterinary prescription only.

Under the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act of 1994 , veterinarians are permitted to prescribe drugs intended for human use in “extra-label” uses in animals. According to the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), compounding pergolide from bulk substances for animal use is permitted in response to a valid veterinary prescription to treat an affected horse. The FDA was sufficiently concerned about the market withdrawal of pergolide that it announced that it will “work with sponsors interested in seeking approval of a new animal drug application for the use of pergolide to treat Cushing's Syndrome in horses.”

Malmberg, added, “It is precisely because of circumstances such as this that compounding pharmacies are an indispensible component of the healthcare system.”

About Wedgewood Pharmacy

A compounding pharmacy creates customized medications for individual patients in response to a licensed practitioner’s prescription. Wedgewood Pharmacy is one of the largest compounding pharmacies in the United States, serving more than 25,000 prescribers of compounded medications. It is located in Swedesboro NJ and licensed throughout the United States.


Background: About Compounding Pharmacy

Because every patient is different and has different needs, customized, compounded medications are a vital part of quality medical care. The basis of the profession of pharmacy has always been the "triad," the patient-prescriber-pharmacist relationship.

Through this relationship, patient needs are determined by a prescriber, who chooses a treatment regimen that may include a compounded medication. Prescribers often prescribe compounded medications for reasons that include (but are not limited to) the following situations:

  • When needed medications are discontinued by or generally unavailable from pharmaceutical companies, often because the medications are no longer profitable to manufacture;
  • When the patient is allergic to certain preservatives, dyes or binders in available off-the shelf medications;
  • When treatment requires tailored dosage strengths for patients with unique needs (for example, an infant);
  • When a pharmacist can combine several medications the patient is taking to increase compliance;
  • When the patient cannot ingest the medication in its commercially available form and a pharmacist can prepare the medication in cream, liquid or other form that the patient can easily take; and
  • When medications require flavor additives to make them more palatable for some patients.

For additional information, visit the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists’ Web site at www.iacprx.org and www.compoundingfacts.org.



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