Collaboration allows access to cheap horse dewormer

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A new generic product will enable Alberta's horse owners to deworm horses for a fraction of the normal price.
A new generic product will enable Alberta’s horse owners to deworm horses for a fraction of the normal price.

Horse owners in Alberta, Canada, are getting access to a cheap Ivermectin-based horse dewormer thanks to a joint venture.

Horse owners can look forward to significant savings as a result of the collaboration.

Treatment with a brand-name dewormer imported into Canada costs horse owners between $C15 and $C30.

The new generic liquid Ivermectin dewormer, called “Ivermectin Liquid for Horses”, will be available for a quarter of the cost, at around $C5 for an average 500-kilogram horse.

Production of the worming product is a result of cooperation between Alberta Agriculture, the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Alberta Veterinary Labs, and the Horse Industry Association of Alberta.

In May 2013, the product was registered by the Veterinary Drugs Directorate for use in horses. The process took more than three years to complete the research and trials.

The generic product is made in Calgary and is currently available through veterinary clinics and over-the-counter at local feed and tack stores.

It is available in three different forms: a 15ml syringe, 60ml bulk bottle, and a 120ml bulk bottle. It is administered orally, either directly into the mouth with a syringe or top-dressed on grain and fed to the horse.

“Since it is a water-based product, horses will eat it when added to sweet feed. This is great news for horses that have been a problem to deworm,” said Dr Merle Olson, of Alberta Veterinary Labs.

“Until recently, a manufacturing plant of large volume, sterile and non-sterile, veterinary pharmaceuticals did not exist in Canada, creating a situation where these products had to be imported from other countries outside of Canada,” Olson said.

“The lack of domestic manufacturing led to artificially inflated pharmaceutical prices for Alberta livestock producers, but also the loss of jobs and revenue generation here in Alberta.”

Les Burwash, the manager of horse programs with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, said: “It is expected that the costs of deworming horses will also decrease as it did when these same people came out with the similar cattle product over 18 months ago.

“This is a good news story about a local pharmaceutical manufacturing company’s success and the horse industry having its first product licenced for use in all horses, including those entering the food chain.”

The withdrawal time for the Ivermectin Liquid for Horses is 14 days. It is the only drug for horses in North America that has a withdrawal time.

Robyn Moore, the manager of the Horse Industry Association of Alberta, said the association was thankful for the funding provided by the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, which enabled the product’s development and production.

“It will benefit all horse owners,” she said.

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