By MARGARET L. SANDERS and KENNETH R. STAPLES, Associated PressThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration is studying the effectiveness of a canine hot spot medicine in reducing hot spot infection rates among dogs, according to people familiar with the study.
The agency last month released a draft of the final rule that would regulate the medication as a veterinary medicine and would be final in June.
The draft rule would include a provision allowing the use of the medicine in dogs, but would prohibit veterinarians from prescribing it to dogs.
The draft also calls for the agency to consider the possibility of using the medication in cats, although that could be controversial.
The move by the FDA comes amid a debate over whether the use or misuse of a hot spot drug could lead to the spread of a deadly coronavirus in humans, particularly among pets.
Pet owners and veterinarians have long warned that dogs can transmit the virus and that owners should not allow their pets to be near hot spots.
The CDC and other health authorities have warned that pet owners should take precautions to protect their pets.
The drug, dubbed Zovirax, is manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur.
It was developed by researchers at the company’s pet treatment center at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
It has been licensed for use in dogs and cats for years.
The FDA study is expected to be completed by July and submitted to the U.N. Committee on Trade and Development for its final approval.