CAHFS Weekly Update: Changes to medication-related legislation affecting veterinarians; Salmonella and poultry; Ebola not an international emergency
Gus Brihn


Changes to medication-related legislation affecting veterinarians

As of July 1, 2019, four sections of the new law go into effect. Regarding opioids, there will be mandatory client identification checks before a veterinarian dispenses or prescribes any controlled substances in Schedules II-V. Proof of identification such as a driver’s license will be required and should be reported in the medical record. Additionally, there will be a limit on the quantity of opiates prescribed. For the use of acute pain in humans, a prescription shall not exceed seven days for an adult and five days for a minor, however, pharmacists may conclude that this limit should be applied to animals as well. 

There are new changes in licensing costs for manufacturers of opioids. Initial licensure and registration and subsequent licensure and registration renewal for opioid manufacturers has increased from $260 to $55,000. There is no distinction between manufactures of human and veterinary opioids-making companies, which produce veterinary-only opioids concerned. If this is the case, suggestions have been made that the manufacturer of veterinary opioids may, therefore, stop making these drugs available and therefore, drugs such as butorphanol could become unavailable for animal pain in this state.

Regarding emergency drug refills, now pharmacists can provide a 30-day supply of certain medications for chronic conditions even when no refills remain under certain exceptions: the pharmacist has tried but unable to contact the veterinarian who issued the prescription; there is prior prescription order for the drug at the pharmacy; the drug is essential to sustain the life of the patient; and the drug is not a controlled substance. 

MN legislator


Salmonella and poultry

A multistate outbreak of Salmonella infection has grown by more than 400 percent since May 10. The outbreak is linked to backyard poultry flocks. In an update by the CDC, as of June 7, there were 279 people across 41 states who have been infected. Of the affected individuals, one-third of them are children younger than five years. 

More than a fourth of the infected individuals have been admitted to hospital due to severe clinical signs. No confirmed deaths have been reported. Whole genome sequencing of 24 isolates from ill people have predicted antibiotic resistance to multiple drugs. 
Patients told investigators that they got chicks and ducklings for their backyard flocks form agricultural stores, websites, and hatcheries. CDC notes that individuals who come in direct contact with poultry are at risk, but additionally, people who contact poultry or their habitat can pass bacteria to other individuals. 

Food Safety News


Ebola not an international emergency

The World Health Organization (WHO) decided not to declare the Congo’s ebola outbreak an international emergency, despite its spread to neighboring country Uganda. The decision was made because a declaration could cause too much economic harm.

Congo’s outbreak is currently the second worst outbreak of ebola in history with 2,108 confirmed cases and 1,411 deaths since last August and as of this week, Uganda has reported three cases of which two have died. 

WHO has urged neighboring countries, though, to improve their preparedness plans for detecting and managing imported cases. The committee concluded that there was nothing to gain by declaring it an international emergency, but potentially a lot to lose as a declaration would risk creating restrictions on travel and trade that could harm the economy of the DRC.

Some individuals are concerned, however, about this decision as this is the third time the panel has failed to declare an emergency. The director of the Wellcome Trust said that declaring an emergency would have raised levels of international political support and enhance diplomatic, public health, security, and logistic efforts. 


Gus Brihn

Gus Brihn

Gus completed his undergraduate degree at the U of M in Global Studies, and has spent much of his time abroad, including time in France and Namibia. Gus became interested in emergency medicine from becoming a Wilderness First Responder and NR-EMT. He completed his veterinary degree at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Gus is interested in zoonotic disease outbreak investigation, prevention, and epidemiology. Outside of work, Gus enjoys rock climbing and doing Brazilian Jiu jitsu. He has an 11 year-old Staffordshire terrier mix breed dog named Sweet Pea.