FIP Treatment Now Available for Cats

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio

As of June 1, 2024, pet parents can get the FIP treatment they need for their cats, but there is some confusion about this.

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a fatal condition, but pet parents have been using a drug, GS-441524, to cure their cats (though the drug is not always effective in all cases). Despite the success of the treatment, the problem has been that the drug was only available on the black market, so people would access it with the help of groups on social media since vets weren’t able to prescribe it.

A Bit of Background on GS-441524

According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), other countries, such as Australia and the United Kingdom, provide versions of the drug GS-441524 for FIP. In Canada and the United States, however, no drug has been approved for treating the condition, which is why people were forced to use the black market to get the expensive medicine if they wanted a chance at curing their cats.

In 2020, remdesivir (a drug similar to GS-441524) was approved for use in humans to treat COVID-19. This gave veterinarians the option to prescribe it to pets off-label (aka extralabel), but the medication was difficult for vets to obtain. 

A Compounded Treatment for FIP Now Available

Stokes Pharmacy began selling an FIP treatment on June 1, making it possible for vets to purchase the compounded GS-441524 prescription for their patients. Unlike remdesivir and the black market GS-441524, this medication comes in a tablet form rather than as an injection, and there is some debate over which form is more effective. 

On May 10, 2024, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement regarding this FIP treatment. They clarified that there isn’t any FDA-approved drug for FIP in cats, and they don’t intend on enforcing approval requirements for drugs compounded from GS-441524 if they’re prescribed for specific patients. They also stated:

“The FDA is aware of social media posts suggesting that compounded GS-441524 will be ‘legally’ available in the United States starting June 1. The agency reminds compounding pharmacies, veterinarians and pet owners that animal drugs compounded from bulk drug substances are unapproved drugs and are not, in fact, legal. However, in GFI # 256, the FDA has described certain conditions where the agency does not intend to take enforcement actions for compounded products for use in animals.” 

Mike Tursi is the President and CEO of Stokes Pharmacy, and he has shared that the FDA has the compounded drug under review. The hope is that veterinarians will be able to keep a stock of the compounded medication in their office, even without prescriptions for specific patients. This would allow veterinarians to give the medicine to cats who need it without delay.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has also stated that they and the American Association of Feline Practitioners are working on submitting nominations to the FDA so that veterinarians can have office stock of the medications they need to treat FIP.

Overall, the good news is that it has become easier for cat parents to obtain treatment for FIP, and the goal is to make this medication even more accessible to vets and patients.

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Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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