Saturday, August 13, 2005

Odd Drug Requirement

We had to get our dog Teddy a very-low-dosage aspirin to help prevent blood clots. How low? St. Joseph Children's Aspirin has 81 mg per pill, but Teddy needs just 7 mg per day. Only one pharmacy in Chicago (the whole darn city of three million people!) can create these tiny doses, which they pack into capsules with lots of filler.

Now here is the odd thing--this pharmacy had to speak with our veterinarian for approval in order to make these capsules for us. I mean, we're talking about taking the world's most common over-the-counter medication and diluting it to a miniscule strength (practically homeopathic by human standards). For that, we pay a premium ($17 a bottle). Why on earth would they need to get permission to make this stuff? It's not like they would be preventing abuse or misuse since I could buy a much stronger dose without a prescription. I told my wife I was going to take them myself: "I could take two regular aspirin tablets every four hours, but I'd rather take one of these capsules every ten minutes instead!"

It's probably some sort of general law or policy of either the pharmacy or the FDA, but in this case it struck me as red tape, just a waste of time (in fact, they were unable to reach Teddy's vet for a while, so we had to wait an extra day to get the capsules).

Actually, there is one funny thing about Teddy's swollen leg. He has always had skinny, bony legs that looked too small to support his body. Now his swollen leg looks like the size his legs should be.

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