FDA

Roll Over, Rover, and Left Pfizer Take Over

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Yet another sign–in an endless series–that we are living in a post-Rapture world:

The world's first weight-loss drug for dogs has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Slentrol, made by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, is intended to significantly reduce the appetite and increase fat absorption in canines.

The FDA's head of veterinary medicine said the drug was a welcome addition to animal therapies because of an apparent increase in dog obesity in the US.

Americans own 65 million dogs and almost 40% of US households have one.

According to the FDA, veterinarians generally define a dog that weighs 20% more than its ideal weight as obese.

Surveys have found that approximately 5% of dogs in the US are obese, and another 20-30% are overweight, it says.

It'll cost between $1 and $2 a day. Given the amount saved on food, who knows, maybe it's a boon for pet owners (and where's the feline version, which is just waiting for a Garfield ad campaign?). More here.

Of greater concern to all of us should be the slowdown in new drugs coming to market, which seems to partially due to well-known FDA regulatory red tape and dubious decisionmaking by pharmaceutical companies.

NEXT: Operation George Romero

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  1. OK, when can we expect something for us human fatties?

  2. “OK, when can we expect something for us human fatties?”

    It’s called exercise.

  3. Slightly off topic, but if you still have time to attend your local Rachel Corrie pancake breakfast/brunch today. I plan on having the waffles with strawberries at the local sports pub.

  4. dubious decisionmaking by pharmaceutical companies

    What exactly would that be? The way they react ot over regulation?

    I am sure the socialists here have plenty of examples from any price above $0 to anything they want but has not been researched. Interested in hearing what a libertarian would call “dubious decisionmaking” in the environment that US drug companies must operate in.

  5. Hmmm … when my dogs start to plump up I feed them less.

  6. FDA=Federal Dog Administration?

    We have a War on Terror and a War on Drugs to win, people!!

  7. dubious decisionmaking by pharmaceutical companies.

    I’m not sure about “the socialists here,” but I agree that this kind of statement needs some sort of clarification. The pharmas are working in one of the most regulated industries in the U.S. Any “dubious decisionmaking” is going to be a direct result of that, making it less “dubious” and more “understandable.”

  8. Slentrol, made by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, is intended to significantly reduce the appetite and increase fat absorption in canines.

    Erm..it reduces fat adsorption.

  9. At least this one isn’t “for the children.” Unless you ask my cousins, whose dogs are their children.

  10. Want a slim dog? Adopt a retired racing greyhound! They make awesome pets!

  11. I am sure the socialists here have plenty of examples from any price above $0 to anything they want but has not been researched.

    Could someone please translate the above string of words, using prepositional phrases that are actually coherent?

  12. Is anyone taking bets on how long until teenage girls start using it?

  13. They tried the drug on human males, but 75% of them ended up with a desire to lick their balls and crap on the lawn. For the control group with a placebo, it was 74%.

  14. Good one, TomHynes.

    In a similar vein, I offer this nugget that just appeared in my inbox for your amusement and as an admittedly questionable data point for those who doubt the gullibility of humans…

    “The Purina Diet

    I was in Wal-Mart buying a large bag of Purina for Lola and was in line to check out. A woman behind me asked if I had a dog…….. Duh!

    I was feeling a bit crabby so on impulse, I told her no, I was starting The Purina Diet again, although I probably shouldn’t because I’d ended up in the hospital last time, but that I’d lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care unit with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IV’s in both arms.

    Her eyes about bugged out of her head. I went on and on with the bogus diet story and she was totally buying it. I told her that it was an easy, inexpensive diet and that the way it works is to load your pockets or purse with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The package said the food is nutritionally complete so I was going to try it again.

    I have to mention here that practically everyone in the line was by now enthralled with my story.

    Horrified, she asked if something in the dog food had poisoned me and was that why I ended up in the hospital.

    I said no…..I’d been sitting in the street licking my butt when a car hit me.”

  15. Americans own 65 million dogs… and most of them live within 2 miles of my house.

  16. I am sure the socialists here have plenty of examples from any price above $0 to anything they want but has not been researched.

    Could someone please translate the above string of words, using prepositional phrases that are actually coherent?

  17. Interesting. Why can’t owners just not feed their dogs so much food? Dogs don’t usually feed themselves, do they?

  18. Sorry. Hit the wrong button.

    I am sure the socialists here have plenty of examples from any price above $0 to anything they want but has not been researched.

    Could someone please translate the above string of words, using prepositional phrases that are actually coherent?

    It needs quotes, not better prepositional phrases. “I am sure the socialists here have plenty of examples from ‘any price above $0’ to ‘anything they want but has not been researched.'”

    The pharmas are working in one of the most regulated industries in the U.S. Any “dubious decisionmaking” is going to be a direct result of that, making it less “dubious” and more “understandable.”

    Sorry, gotta disagree. I’m not sure what specifically Nick is talking about here, and I don’t have any examples myself. There might not be any examples of bad decisions. But to say that any bad decisions made by a heavily regulated company are the result of that regulation is pretty silly. Logically, it is entirely possible for such a company to make bad decisions, as much as it is for an unregulated company to do so. Maybe it’s more likely because of the regulation, as in you make bad decision because you know the government will bail you out. Even in that case, though, the company still bears the responsibility for the bad decision; and the lawmakers who bail them out bear responsibility for their bad decision.

  19. Geez, this is pathetic. Look: ya want a thinner dog? Don’t feed him so damn much. As a vet once explained it to me, “I’ve never seen a dog that knew how to take a can of Alpo out of the cabinet, open it up, and dump it in a bowl.” Always worked for me…

  20. The savings in dog food wouldn’t be worth the doggie diarrhea.

  21. But to say that any bad decisions made by a heavily regulated company are the result of that regulation is pretty silly.

    I’m not saying that bad decisions made by a regulated company are caused by regulation. I’m saying that decisions that look “dubious” are actually good ideas in light of the regulatory environment. i.e. It may make more sense to market diet pills for dogs rather than trying to bring a more useful drug to market because of the onerous regulations.

  22. Nick,

    I know what you’re talking about, but I still don’t know what Hendrix meant. Just what was he “takin’ over” from Rover, anyway?

  23. I am surprised Editor Gillespie is so upbeat about this — I am no expert, but isn’t it better when the cuts are well-marbled?

    No link for “dubious decisionmaking by pharmaceutical companies”? What, exactly did you have in mind? — because it is not immediately clear what a Reasonwriter would consider to be a dubious move by a pharmaceutical company.

    What is going on is going on because the FDA feels it got played with the VIOXX. It did, too. Is that what you meant, Editor Gillespie?

  24. We wouldn’t be having this conversation if dogs were standard menu items in America.
    You see any farmers putting their pigs on a diet?

  25. ed: They haven’t been getting leaner on their own.

  26. Sheesh, what’s the world coming to if we can no longer call fat chicks “porkers”?

  27. I’m also having trouble figuring out just what those bad decisions could possibly be.

    Considering that patent laws enable them to charge monopoly prices, which they justify by the supposed “cost of developing new drugs” (this despite the fact that most of them are slightly modified me-too drugs rather than new drugs, and that about half the R&D funding comes from corporate welfare), and considering that the main effect of all those regulations is to enforce Big Pharma’s cartel by raising the entry costs into their market, my initial reaction is that they’re doing everything just right. About the only bad decision they could make would be to get off the government tit. Now *that* would be stupid.

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