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United Kingdom

Zoetis Update on IsoFlo® (ISOFLURANE) SUPPLY CONCERNS

WALTON OAKS, SURREY – 12 Dec 2018 Zoetis UK Ltd.

Zoetis has informed the VMD of an issue with supply of IsoFlo (Isoflurane), the volatile anaesthetic.  Details of the supply issue are listed on the VMD’s website.  We would like to provide the following update to our customers and the wider veterinary market on the situation and possible alternatives.

Zoetis supply approximately two thirds of the UK’s total Isoflurane anaesthetic gas needs with IsoFlo.  We were very recently notified that our contracted third party manufacturing facility has had to cease production of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) of IsoFlo with immediate effect due to a mechanical issue on the production line.

This was not a scheduled closure and has impact on the supply of IsoFlo to the UK plus other European markets. Unfortunately re-supply of IsoFlo to the UK will likely not be until March 2019. 

Thus we are now not able to supply IsoFlo to meet the normal practice demand in the period from December 2018 to March 2019. 

To mitigate the impact of this we have tried to source alternative IsoFlo from other markets including the USA but have not been able to secure a supply. We have also worked with UK based pharmaceutical companies marketing human licensed Isoflurane products to determine if they are able to supply the veterinary market under the Cascade. 

We have managed to arrange for a small volume of human licensed Isoflurane to be made available to the veterinary market with a further quantity to be manufactured for delivery in February. We trust this will help to support veterinary surgeons whilst we continue to work towards meeting the normal demand in 2019.

As a direct impact of the ongoing supply issues there has been a huge increase in the demand for SevoFlo® (Sevoflurane).  This is not unexpected and we have been able secure additional SevoFlo supplies for the UK from within Zoetis.  We have also identified a source of a human Sevoflurane product which in combination may be sufficient to meet the demands of our customers, although it should be noted that any such use will need to be in line with the Cascade.

However, SevoFlo requires a specific vaporizer apparatus (different vaporizer to IsoFlo) and the availability of SevoFlo apparatus in the UK for immediate use is very limited. Zoetis will continue to attempt to source vaporizers for our customers who might wish to use SevoFlo.

During the coming weeks our advice to customers and the veterinary market is as follows:

  1. During this limited stock situation, we would suggest that practices prioritise any existing supplies of IsoFlo for emergency procedures.  Veterinary surgeons might consider if routine procedures can be postponed until practices have access to further supplies in February/March.
  2. For current SevoFlo users, we are working with wholesalers to supply your normal demand for SevoFlo. We realise your demand may increase in light of the IsoFlo issue so we will continue to monitor and support this supply to the best of our abilities.  Zoetis aims to keep you informed via your wholesaler. In this case too we would ask vets to consider postponing routine surgeries until you have a suitable supply of SevoFlo or if needed human licensed Sevoflurane.  Please note that due to limited stocks of SevoFlo vaporizers it is unlikely we will be able to supply additional vaporizers at this time.
  3. For current IsoFlo users, we are aware that many practices would like to switch to SevoFlo immediately. Despite sourcing additional supplies of SevoFlo for the UK the current availability of SevoFlo vaporizers is extremely limited. Therefore we would suggest, where possible, practices with multiple branches or a network should consider nominating a surgical hub as the primary provider of surgical procedures and thus reduce the need for multiple vaporizers. We would ask that customers interested in using SevoFlo should flag this in the first instance with their Zoetis Account Manager so that we may co-ordinate available SevoFlo stocks and vaporizers on a practice by practice basis.

We are acutely aware of the impact this situation may have on practices and the amount of concern it is causing our customers and the wider veterinary market. 

Please be aware that Zoetis is working across its entire organisation and with stakeholders during this market wide challenge to expedite the return of IsoFlo to the market. In the meantime we thank you for your patience and we will continue our communications with you and wider partners as we work on supplying all available product to your wholesalers. 

About Zoetis

Zoetis is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products, genetic tests, biodevices and a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2017, the company generated annual revenue of $5.3 billion with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information, visit www.zoetis.com.