Out of curiosity, are any shelters using the drug GS-441524 to treat FIP cases in their shelter cats? The drug creator Gilead is refusing to have the drug licensed for veterinary use so it can't be approved by the FDA, but I've heard of places using the drug 'off brand'. Our vet says that many large shelters are using it as a 'standard of care' and I wanted to validify that, are any other shelters using it? (Feel free to answer anonymously, too!) I am just looking for information surrounding this and don't want our shelter negatively affected for wanting to use a technically 'illegal' drug to help cats. I just want to understand how other shelters might be approaching this. Any help or information would be greatly appreciated!
I do not believe that a drug used off-label is technically illegal. Granted, there is likely greater liability because the user cannot rely on FDA approval to bolster arguments regarding the standard of care. However, for decades doctors have used oncology drugs off-label and that has largely been ignored because no labeled drug can save the patient's life. I think the same would apply here.
I have been with PAL for 2 and 1/2 years now, and we have treated multiple cats with GS in that time. Almost all of them have recovered, and the several that did not were not started on GS early enough in the course of their disease. In my previous life in private practice, this was never an option for me, so to see these cats recover is a true blessing.
As far as the "off label" description - I thought the drug was not licensed for ANY use in the US, hence the problems with legality.
If I can answer other questions, please let me know, although I'll probably ask that we do that via private message. :P
We are a municipal shelter in a low income city, our veterinarian has expressed that the cost of treatment is too high. Our shelter is opting to transfer to recues utilizing the drug for treatment or if no transfer is available, we will euthanize.
We are in a low income area and can barely afford to feed the cats we have. Fundraising is stagnant. And we don't have transfer options, no shelter here can afford GS. Even if we were able to fundraise for it, I can't see how we could justify spending that much on one kitten in a region where there are so many others in desperate need.
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