New medicines in 2017 – did we get what we needed?


New medicines in 2017 – did we get what we needed?

Every month in our newsletter we report on the veterinary medicines that have been newly authorised for use in companion animals in the UK.  I thought it might be interesting to see what we gained overall in 2017. 


There were roughly 40 new products. What we get to hear about is the granting of marketing authorisations by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate or European Medicines Agency, but not all are marketed immediately, and some may not be marketed in the UK at all. 

By far the most numerous were parasiticides: 15 in total (or 38% of all new authorisations). A couple were products containing fipronil + (S)-methoprene, a combination available for the first time without prescription (supply category NFA-VPS). Otherwise, apart from sarolaner/selamectin (Stronghold Plus) for cats, covering fleas, ticks, roundworm and heartworm, there was really nothing new, just new brands of existing products (aka me-toos*). *note added 2.4.18, I was wrong to call these me-toos. These are branded generics. Me-toos are drugs which are only minor variants of existing compounds with no demonstrable advantages, for example the many NSAIDs.

There were four new vaccines: one against feline leukaemia virus, one against rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) and RHD type 2 (a non-mineral oil based vaccine); and two new presentations of bivalent leptospira vaccine (one alone, and one with parainfluenza). 

We got several new oral antibacterial products: cefalexin, doxycycline, marbofloxacin, and metronidazole + spiramycin for cats and dogs; and enrofloxacin for rabbits and other small mammals). But, apart from the combination product, nothing new.

For skin diseases, there were two new formulations of triamcinolone + salicylic acid (spray and ear drops) for seborrhoeic dermatitis, and also lokivetmab, the first monoclonal antibody, for managing the signs of canine atopic dermatitis.

The rest are made up two eye ointments (chlortetracycline and ciclosporin), anaesthetics (alfaxolone and propofol), a couple of injectable buprenorphines, two sedatives (dexmedetomine and acepromazine), thiamazole tablets for cats, nandrolone, and maropitant a neurokinin-receptor antagonist to prevent vomiting.

So a few truly new products. But were there any major therapeutic advances? What do you think? What would you like to have seen?

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