Drug Supplies and Shortages Due to COVID-19: Impact on Animal Research at U-M

May 20, 2020

Checklist icon with magnifying glass to check for drug shortagesThe impact of COVID-19 on hospitalizations and the increased demand for critical care medical services has led to shortages and potential supply delays for human drugs, including:

  • Anesthetics and analgesics
    • Fentanyl, midazolam, and propofol
  • Inotropes and neuromuscular blockers
    • Dobutamine, dopamine, norepinephrine, vecuronium, rocuronium, and cisatracurium
  • Drugs currently being explored for COVID-19 research
    • Hydroxychloroquine, famotidine injection, and azithromycin

Thus far, these delays and shortages primarily involve human drugs which, depending on your IACUC approved protocol, may also be used for research involving animals. The Michigan Medicine B2 Pharmacy has indicated that stocks for controlled drugs are currently adequate and can be supplied for animal research.

Drugs manufactured specifically for veterinary anesthesia, analgesia, and euthanasia (e.g., Telazol®, ketamine, xylazine, buprenorphine, veterinary propofol, and euthanasia solution) are not currently associated with any shortages; however, this may change as veterinary demands increase over time.

How to Best Prepare

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Regularly check the following websites for additional information about human and veterinary drug shortages:

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Upon approval to re-initiate your specific research projects, verify that all drugs required for surgical and non-surgical research procedures are in stock and available before ordering animals.

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If ordering drugs (controlled or non-controlled substances) from the Michigan Medicine B2 Pharmacy, please order only the amount needed to perform current research and do not overstock.


Veterinary Drugs

If you have difficulty obtaining a specific drug needed to treat the animals in your research program(s), please contact your ULAM Faculty Veterinarian to consult on alternative medication options. Our veterinary faculty can work with your lab to determine acceptable alternative medications and provide veterinary approval for use of these drugs.

  • A limited selection of non-controlled substances are available for purchase from ULAM. Orders should be submitted via the Non-Controlled Substances Purchase Request Form.
  • Contact Evie Toering from MWI Animal Health at (866) 252-4069 or etoering@mwianimalhealth.com for questions about establishing an account for purchasing controlled substances, current account status, drug availability, expected delays, or generic formulation alternatives.

Questions and Additional Information

  • Questions about controlled substances should be directed to the Controlled Substances (CS) Monitors at cs-monitors@med.umich.edu.
  • For questions about non-controlled substances, or to inquire about the Michigan Medicine B2 Pharmacy supply inventory, contact pharm-purchasing@med.umich.edu.