Letters: 06/02

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APPMA Clarifies Role
The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, Inc. (APPMA) is a trade association representing over 650 pet product manufacturers. Our members make a wide variety of pet products ranging from pet food to aquariums, cages, leashes, supplements and other accessories for a pet’s care and maintenance.

It has been brought to our attention that the March 2002 “Contraband In The Barn” article misstates our role as a representative of the pet products industry. While many of our members sell nutraceuticals for companion animals (including horses), our primary responsibility is to educate and inform the pet industry about legislative and regulatory activities that affect the sale of a broad range of pet products. We are not lobbyists as the article implies. Our role is to assist our members in regulatory compliance.

While your article properly states that APPMA is working with members “garnering information about some supplements to get them official approval through existing pathways” . . . we are not lobbying to have the DSHEA include companion animals, as that is not our mission. Through APPMA, manufacturers are cooperating with one another to substantiate safety, a legal requirement to market these products.

Many of your readers have written us supporting legislative change. These inquiries are misdirected because APPMA is not a lobbying organization and is not a government body. The article should have directed readers to legislators and regulators.

-Gina Valeri
APPMA Director of Legislative Affairs & General Counsel
Connecticut

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Bug Eater Is A Wall-Mount Device
Though we greatly appreciate the exposure given to our product, Bug Eater, in your April 2002 issue, we were touting the Bug Eater as an excellent method of controlling mosquitoes, as a response to your articles concerning the West Nile Virus. In fact, it appears that your field trials reflected this claim. We have never promoted or suggested that the Bug Eater is an appliance for catching or killing flies. To the contrary, the aerodynamics of the fly works very well against the engineering of the Bug Eater. In addition, your “Drawbacks” column was incorrect in stating that a tabletop is required for the use of the Bug Eater. Each Bug Eater comes with a wall mount bracket.

-Gerald W. Smith
President, Unicorn International
South Carolina

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Helps Stretch Budget
I keep your magazines in a big binder, and my riding students and 4Hers frequently borrow it for research projects and such. Their parents love the magazine because it helps them avoid the trendy pitfalls.??As for me, when I am totaling up my horse expenditures at the end of the year, I mentally thank you for helping me make my budget stretch further.

-Deborah Carr
Bluegrass Farms
North Carolina

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Prescription Drug Prices
I read your April article “Bust High Drug Costs” and had to write.??I know of no vet who will dispense prescriptions.?? I asked two vets with whom I am an “established” client and both said selling drugs was the way they made up for the low cost of their other services.

The shame is that the drugs they dispense aren’t 30% higher then prescription cost, but over 100%.??For example, the drug my horse now has to be on forever is Isoxuprine.??The vets charge $60 per bottle.??KV Vet charges $30 per bottle.??

I wouldn’t mind buying from my vet if she tacked on $10 to $15 per bottle, but she is gouging. The other vets with whom I spoke also charge the $60 per bottle price.??The other shame of it is that for people like myself who aren’t rolling in money, these drugs are too expensive to give to the horse that needs them.??

Vets don’t mark up 30%, they mark up over 100%, and this includes all drugs they sell.?? To me, this is price gouging.?? They shouldn’t be allowed to sell drugs and certainly not at the prices they are charging.

-Name Withheld
California

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Generic Adequan'
Thank you for your article on high drug costs. I’m using ageneric brand of Adequan for my senior gelding who has high ringbone. For a year prior to using the generic brand, I used Adequan, which I administered every four weeks and paid $50 per injection. I noticed a considerable improvement in his ringbone symptoms, which typically lasted about three weeks after the injection. Then I learned of a generic version of Adequan existed (N-acetyl-D-Glucosamine) for about 70% less than Adequan. It’s $15 per injection through my veterinarian.

I’ve been using the generic brand for over a year now and have not noticed any difference compared to Adequan. In fact, because of the low cost, I can afford to administer it to my horse every three weeks, which creates much more consistent results.

I’d like to know more about the generic brand. Is this a compound drug' Are there any health risks to my horse' What is the difference in the two drugs and does it justify the difference in the cost'

-R. Read
California

N-acetyl-D-glucosamine is not the same as Adequan, although it is often advertised that way.?? Adequan is a polysulfated highly complex glycosaminoglycan whose structure is most similar to heparin.??It isn’t a compound that occurs naturally in the body.??N-acetyl-D-glucosamine is a simpler molecule, the next step after glucosamine in the synthesis of joint cartilage and hyaluronic acid.?? It’s a naturally occuring compound, just like glucosamine is, but apparently works better than injectable glucosamine. Many vets feel it works better than Adequan, but this could vary among horses.??

There’s little research available on N-acetyl-D-glucosamine but, in one rat study, it enhanced the repair processes after an arthritic process was induced experimentally and it also appears to have some inhibitory effects on inflammation.?? We are unaware of any adverse effects.??You’re the best judge of whether the increased cost of Adequan justifies its use, by how your horse responds.