I don’t carry Trifexis in my hospital, but from what I know the product is safe. The brief reports I read regarding the initial patient death(s) did not add up to a valid indictment of the drug. I believe that most likely this is a case of “herd or mass” psychosis, like I have seen previously with two other products. Unfortunately, people are the creatures they are, and they are always looking for a scapegoat or excuse to utilize as a dramatic tool of sympathy for themselves (like Munchhausen by Proxy) or litigation for financial benefit. The media always stokes these flames and stokes them intensely, creating as much support as possible for the paranoia, as well as overt fear, to keep you “amped up and tuned in.” The overwhelming number of cases in “reports” like these are suffering from either a preexisting terminal disease, undisclosed acute trauma, or some other major medical problem not detected by the owner or the vet. But the “drug” is an easy target that takes the blame away from both the vet and the owner to find a very wealthy, possible benefactor, scapegoat. Proheart 6 and Rimadyl were attacked in very similar ways in the past and I have never had a real drug reaction/adverse event after much much use with either. Many of the people who report “events” like this are truly mentally unstable and their perceptions are not rational or objective….I promise you this is true. One of the deaths “linked” to Proheart, that is actually reported, was a dog who fell or jumped out of a truck. The FDA had to investigate that death as related to the product.
Having said all that, I don’t necessarily believe that all of the drug companies are truly noble and trustworthy either. Some drugs certainly are not as safe or associated with the full disclosure that they should be. The “shareholder” bottom line has a direct effect on this implementation of policy and product development….as long as you are a shareholder and not a patient, all is good, right?
I believe you are seeing the two reflections of the same manifestation of human behavior…the see-saw of blame (herd hypnosis) ebbing and flowing back and forth between the drug company and between the suppose “little helpless man/woman”.
The independent veterinarian should be the objective and moral evaluator who documents and speaks the truth as much as that is possible. Other independent veterinarians, giving their unbiased opinions, can help balance and test the merit of any one’s beliefs, statements, or proclamations. Unfortunately, his/her independent voice continues to weaken with corporate alliances and with the pressure of his/her customers who seem to progressively be adopting irrational perspectives. It is quite the conundrum.
Jeff Cribb DVM 8-3-2014