According to a settlement agreement filed with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy, Weatherford Compounding Pharmacy will surrender its nonresidence license to operate in Iowa after the board hit the pharmacy with a number of charges related to the presence of sildenafil in racehorses in 2013.
In a document dated earlier this year, the board charged Weatherford Compounding Pharmacy with five counts of violation of Iowa code, including the introduction of adulterated drugs, improper labeling, incomplete production records, exceeding beyond-use dates, and a failure to adhere to compounding policies and procedures.
Weatherford also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $6,000. The company will surrender its license effective Dec. 15, 2015. The surrender has the same power as an order of revocation for the purposes of reinstatement, according to the settlement agreement.
In its list of charges, the board alleged that Weatherford, which is based in Texas, shipped a herbal compound called Tourniquet to an Iowa veterinarian. Tourniquet's only active ingredients were supposed to be cinnamon and ginseng, but the product was tainted with sildenafil, which is sold in the human medical market as Viagra, resulting in positive tests in four horses at Prairie Meadows. An investigation by the Iowa board found information missing from the product's label, and from the pharmacy's records, in addition to the use of products beyond their expiration date.
Sildenafil is rumored on the track to help control pulmonary hemorrhage. It's believed the contamination came from the ginseng in the product, which was shipped from China to a supplier called Attix Pharmaceuticals in Canada. Attix has stated that the manufacturer that produced the ginseng also makes erectile dysfunction products, and that the cross-contamination likely occurred during production.
The four positives at Prairie Meadows resulted in one trainer being suspended 15 days and two others getting $1,000 fines.
Quarter Horse trainer John Stinebaugh had four horses test for sildenafil after using the same product around the same time in New Mexico, and was hit with a 16-year suspension and $40,000 fine for the positives. He filed suit against Weatherford, Attix, and three of their principals earlier this year. Stinebaugh is seeking $6 million.
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