A new form of Previcox, a commonly prescribed medication in the firocoxib class, is now available and it is inciting changes in the equine veterinary industry. Please read the information below if your horse is currently on Previcox.
What is firocoxib?
Firocoxib is an NSAID used to control pain and inflammation. Most horse-owners are accustomed to getting it in the form of Previcox, a tablet manufactured for dogs by Merial, because an equine counterpart did not previously exist.
In October 2016, Merial released a new firocoxib product called EQUIOXX®. This new tablet medication is specific toward equine patients. Each tablet contains 57mg—the standard equine dose—compared to Previcox which was often purchased in a 227mg tablet.
Off-label drug use, is the use of a medication in a way, or for a species, that is not specifically listed on the label. While equine veterinarians always want to see their patients treated with effective AND cost-effective medication, we are prohibited to prescribe Previcox to equine patients due to specific FDA and AVMA law. This could have multiple ramifications for any equine veterinarian or owner:
- If your horse experiences a reaction to Previcox, you have no recourse against the manufacturer, since it was used in an off-label fashion in a horse.
- The FDA and/or the State Licensing Board may take action against any veterinarian prescribing prohibited extra-label drugs, including the suspension of a license.
- Equine insurance companies may not cover loss of use or mortality of your horse if he has had Previcox.
Effects on Horse-Owners
Now that EQUIOXX® is available, CEC will not approve any prescriptions for Previcox. We will help our Vets First Choice users by creating a new EQUIOXX® prescription for keeping online refills running smoothly. You may notice that EQUIOXX® is slightly more expensive than the 227mg Previcox—something that is out of our control. We have compared prices across multiple online retailers, and have found that the price change is not unreasonable. Here are some tips for finding the best price:
- Purchase the 180-count bottle rather than the 60-count bottle.
- Take advantage of CEC’s online coupons that are frequently emailed.
- The pharmacy often offers 15% coupons
- New clients can use coupon code WELCOME25 for $25 off their first order
- Make sure that the online retailer includes a Merial rebate in their price. This is built into the CEC’s Vets First Choice price, so there is no extra work to receive this rebate.
Please contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.