Pfizer's cool new Convenia promises practicality and efficacy beyond this vet's wildest dreams … but will it deliver?
I’m always on the lookout for neat new drugs to complement my arsenal of pharmaceuticals — and this one has the potential to change the way I practice medicine.
Marketed as Convenia in Europe, Pfizer’s new one-time injectable, two-week duration third-generation cephalosporin is an antibiotic approach that may also revolutionize how YOU deal with your pets’ healthcare needs.
1, Because some pets are impossible to administer pills to. An injectable antibiotic lasting a full two weeks means I don’t have to convince my clients that pilling their fractious pets is a doable endeavor.
2. Because much as I may trust my clients, I know that busy lives mean sometimes the pills go by the wayside. And that means that I often feel responsible for the failure of my therapeutic regimens — despite knowing it’s possible my clients didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.
3. And finally, because a failure to administer antibiotic drugs in an appropriate manner means that bacterial resistance is a possibility. For reasons of public health and future antibiotic efficacy, this is a big deal. That’s why it makes me crazy to hear my clients say: "Oh that antibiotic — I have plenty left over from last time." Grrrrrr…
It’s the Holy Grail of antibiotic therapy in animals: Create a drug indisputably efficacious over a prolonged period of time so that the vagaries of human administration and animal acceptance are minimized.
A few months ago, one of Dolittler’s U.K. readers extolled the virtues of this approach, then already available in Great Britain. She’d explained that the higher price for the two-week duration was way worth paying for when it came to her cat’s health. Presumably, her cat was one of the many kitties whose reluctance to accept oral treatments meant failure for almost every antibiotic approach.
At that time I was fascinated by the prospect of such a marvel. "GIMME!," I remember commenting. This is something I absolutely need!
So when Pfizer’s reps recently made their way to my doorstep, promising me unprecedented access to this drug, I rejoiced. Our hospital has been selected as one of the local recipients of a sizable freebie sample — with one catch: I’m only to use the gifted antibiotic in my canine patients — for now, anyway.
Clearly, Pfizer sees great promise in the drug. But the company’s well aware that the smaller feline doses are unlikely to generate enough profit to justify their licensing expense. They need to push canine adoption of the drug if they’re to recoup their expenses in what they consider a reasonable timeframe.
But will my dog owners pay $100 a dose? Dunno. I do know my cat owners will gladly fork over $40, especially if their alternative is an angry kitty who’s willing to mount a clawed defense against offensive oral antibiotics.
So now it's your turn ... will you pay up for Convenia's convenience?