Procaine hydrochloride is a veterinary anaesthetic used particularly on farm animals. It is especially required in the spring as it is used as a local and regional anaesthesia for things like caesarean operations, calving, lambing, castration and dehorning of cattle. A shortage of this drug has begun to concern vets to such an extent that they are asking the government for assurances about its availability.
Members of the British Veterinary Association have raised their concerns that procaine hydrochloride products are in such short supply that they are not able to obtain anywhere near the amount they actually need, which has led the BVA to seek guarantees from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate that the anaesthetic demand will be met with sufficient supply, and to declare the situation has the potential to have “a very acute impact on farm animal welfare”.
“Procaine hydrochloride demand ominously outstripping supply. “
The VMD for its part has said it is confident that supplies are in the pipeline and should be available to vets and farmers in the UK in May 2019, and that Pronestesic, a procaine hydrochloride product, is available from suppliers. Cause of the supply shortage is apparently down to a plant failure at a facility responsible for supplying raw materials.