Novartis Animal Health Heartworm Prevention Shortage Update: Sentinel Back on the Market, but Interceptor Production has been Discontinued

SentinelSorry to anyone who is getting sick of posts about this, but I get quite a few blog views from pet guardians looking for updated information about the Novartis Animal Health Sentinel/Interceptor shortage.  Recently it was brought to my attention that the Novartis FAQ/Shortage update page that I had posted in previous updates is no longer working.

This may be, at least in part, due to the fact that recently Novartis informed US veterinarians that Sentinel Flavor Tabs (which protect against heartworms, fleas, whipworms, hookworms, and roundworms) are back on the market.  As of April 4th, 2013, veterinarians should once again be able to carry all sizes of Sentinel Flavor Tabs.  In addition, Novartis has reduced the cost of Sentinel and claims that the new lower prices are here to stay.

This is great news for owners who have been waiting for the return of Sentinel.  However, there is some not so happy news for fans of Interceptor (which protects against heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms, but not against fleas).  Novartis has discontinued production of Interceptor in the US.

Novartis, so far, hasn't posted an official statement on their website.  However, the following is an excerpt from a letter that was sent to US veterinarians earlier this month.

"...Novartis Animal Health, US, Inc. is happy to announce that Sentinel Flavor Tabs are back and at a price that is sure to please everyone.

Effective today, all sizes of Sentinel Flavor Tabs are priced at nearly half of 2011 prices, and these new low prices are here to stay. Now, even more pet owners can afford to provide year-round heartworm, intestinal parasite and flea protection to their dogs.

We’re creating a new standard of care by offering broader spectrum protection than similarly priced heartworm medications and significant savings over comparable spectrum products. Therefore, we have discontinued production of Interceptor® (milbemycin oxime) Flavor Tabs® for the U.S. market.

Thank you for your patience and commitment to Novartis Animal Health, US, Inc. and the Sentinel Flavor Tabs brand. We apologize for the disruption we have caused you, your practice and your clients. We hope to earn back your trust. To that end, we have built significant inventories to support expected demand..."

Anyone interested in switching their pet back to Sentinel should contact their pets' veterinarian.  Former fans of Interceptor who don't want to give their dogs Sentinel, and haven't already found an alternative heartworm preventative, should discus available options with their veterinarian.

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    • Billie Danford

      They suck! Shows how much they could care less about our love Pets. I hope they fall flat on their faces with this decision!!!!!

      • Michelle

        I know a lot of people are upset about it. I'm sure that can't be good for their business!

  • Does anyone have a copy of the letter that they sent to veterinarians explaining that the product would now be offered at a reduced price? It would really help me out!

    Thanks!

    • Michelle

      Hello 🙂

      The excerpt I posted was part of the letter that Novartis sent out to veterinarians, I believe back on April 4th. Are you looking for the whole letter? If you want to drop me an email (the address is on my about page) I could email you the full text of the letter.

      The letter I have a copy of doesn't say what the new price will be, however. It just states that the price will be reduced. I switched my dog to Heartgard when the Novartis shortage started, so I haven't done any price shopping for Sentinel. You should be able to call your veterinarian, or any veterinarian for that matter, and ask them about the new pricing. According to Novartis, the new lower price isn't promotional and will stay at whatever it is now.

      • Billie Danford

        Too much poison!!!! I hope they go broke with this decision!! What about us that can't use anything but Interceptor ?! I have an epileptic Shelter! My friends Collie is double mutant .

        • Michelle

          I have no idea. Luckily my dog does well on Heartgard, but I know that isn't the case for everyone.

          I wonder if maybe another company will step up and make a product similar to Interceptor now that Novartis has discontinued it here?

  • Billie Danford

    I am goin to get Interceptor from Australia like many others are doing ! I hope Novartis goes broke they lead us all on over a year!!!!

    • Michelle

      I agree - I was really surprised they discontinued Interceptor after posting all those updates that lead people to believe they were working to begin manufacturing it again.

    • Carol

      How does one get Interceptor from Australia? Is there a website where the vet's can send the prescriptions? Would appreciate info. Thanks.

      • Michelle

        I'm not sure Carol! I'll try emailing Billie Danford and will post a reply if I hear anything back.

      • Michelle

        Unfortunately it looks like Billie Danford used an invalid email address.

        Hopefully someone who knows more will post! I'll ask around a bit and let you know if I learn anything.

    • Apryl

      How do you get it from Australia? I have been searching for the past hour for an alternative to Sentinel, but not finding anything. I'm just wondering if Sentinel kills fleas, why am I still supposed to give Advantix2? Except for the tick control. I'm not comfortable giving a 5 pound dog two flea killers.

      • Michelle

        For the short time I used Sentinel in the past, I didn't use anything else for fleas and ticks. Like you mentioned, Sentinel is suppose to take care of fleas. Luckily, ticks aren't really an issue for us so I didn't worry too much about using preventative for them.

        My dog is 20 lbs and even at that size, I worried about giving him two flea killers.

        Revolution is a topical treatment, like Advantix 2, that protects against heart worms but is also suppose to be effective against fleas, flea eggs, ear mites, sarcoptes mange, and American dog ticks. Maybe that would work for your dog?

        If your dog can use Heartgard, Heartgard plus doesn't contain a flea preventative. You could use Heartgard Plus for heart worm prevention, and Advantix 2 for fleas and ticks.

        Good luck!

      • Phyllis

        I order my interceptor from CanadaVetCare.com
        It's shipped from Singapore. This is the third time I've used this company for interceptor. My German Shepherds seem to be fine on it...so far. The company, Norvaris (sp.?) is not producing it here in the States for distribution, I don't know why? Hope this helps?

    • mimi

      Call World Pet Express for Interceptor Spectrum from Australia. It is Interceptor with something for worms added. Beats heartgard. I will not give HG to my dog.

      1-888-798-9128

  • TheKid

    This is horrible. I do not need flea protection, and refuse to give my dogs pesticides they do not require. I successfully prevent fleas and ticks using ShooTags, which is an electromagnetic wave. Worming can be performed on an as-needed basis. *Every* preventative should be given only when and as needed, and ideally at separate times - these combo drugs are horrible things to subject to any dog.

    Interceptor at 45 day intervals (or using the SafeHeart dosing) were the safest heartworm options.

    Now I will consider taking a chance at no heartworm preventative, as it is not too common in my area and I'd rather risk that than the other more risky preventatives. This is sad news 🙁 Thank you SO much for sharing this.

    • Michelle

      Your welcome. I'm sorry it's not better news!

  • Sharon Simpson

    While I still lived in the USA, I bought dog meds from Australia. Try Petshed.com.

  • Lin

    After all this started and my Chihuahua had to use Heart Guard, she died. She was only just turned 5 years old. Ripped my heart right outta my chest. Was/is like losing a person not an animal. Hopefully some other company will pick up the slack. Clearly this decision was for business only. They make lots of other products that they rely on the world to buy. Does this spark any ideas in the minds of many. This company could be brought to its knees if the minds of many were to banned together.

    • Michelle

      I'm so, so sorry you lost your chihuahua. My Kitsune is almost 5 and I can't even imagine what it would be like to loose him so young.

      I do hope another company will step up and produce similar products, now that Interceptor is no longer being sold in the US. I don't understand why they would continue to sell it in other countries but discontinue it here.

      I'm so sorry again about your dog!

  • Lin

    PetArmor manufacturer FidoPharm launched a generic prescription heartworm preventive called PetTrust Plus (ivermectin/pyrantel) today as part of an event in New Orleans at which FidoPharm established a “Pet Trust” for the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

    PetTrust Plus is the first generic preventive to be sold in retail pharmacies, according to FidoPharm. The medication contains the same active ingredients in the same concentrations as Merial's Heartgard Plus, but costs up to 50 percent less, the company said.

    “Dogs deserve access to preventive heartworm medicine and their owners deserve choices, without having to sacrifice quality and efficacy,” said FidoPharm President Alex Kaufman. “With the introduction of PetTrust Plus at retail pharmacies nationwide, FidoPharm continues to protect pet parents with affordable and accessible pet health care options and we are proud to educate pet owners about the importance of heartworm testing and treatment.”

    FidoPharm committed $5,000 to establish the “Pet Trust” for the LA/SPCA to provide protection and healthcare to local, needy pets. The company will also provide the next 500 adopted eligible dogs with a six-month supply of PetTrust Plus.

    I copied and pasted that from the site called, Veterinary Practice News. After I read the comments on here today I went to the net to look for help. I saw the product PetTrust Plus. Then I went in search for the manufacture. and that's why I copied the article.
    Did anyone here know that Wal-Mart is selling scripts for our animals??? Who knew??? NOT ME!!! It has been being done since around January 2013. Wal-Mart told me earlier today that the trick is getting your Vet to sign off on a Script. That most aren't happy about it because of the money they will lose. I called Pet Smart and the Vet there said she would do it. This has the same meds as Interceptor and Heart Guard, Ivermectin and pyrantel.

    I feel the reason Heart guard hurt my Angel is because it was to much for her body. She had the shots in two treatments, but I feel they gave her to much.

    This is a generic drug, so the cost is lower at small $20, medium $25, and large $30 for six pills.

    The FDA should be so ...I don't know the word to use there...diligent maybe...about the food they approve for consumption for humans as they are with the heartworm meds.

    Okay, just wanted to do my part and share info. Only time will tell if this drug is a good thing or not.