15 October 2015, Atlanta, Georgia, USA ~ At its October 13 meeting in Atlanta, GA, the board of directors of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) took several actions that will improve the health and safety of horses, and also received important updates on a variety of reform initiatives currently in process nationwide.
One major action by the Board was approval of recommendations from the RMTC’s scientific advisory committee to add four new medications to the current list of 26 Controlled Therapeutic Substances (CTS). The RMTC voted to add these four medications at the urging of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). The RMTC will now present these four medications to the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and advocate for their inclusion in the RCI model rules.
The medications are:
• Ranitidine – an anti-ulcer medication;
• Cimetidine – an anti-ulcer medication;
• Cetirizine – an anti-histamine; and
• Guaifenesin – an expectorant.
CONTROLLED THERAPEUTIC MEDICATIONS: [gview file=”http://www.horsereporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Controlled-Therapeutic-List-September-2015.pdf” save=”1″] The drugs on the list now total 26 medications, and the RMTC provides a recommended withdrawal time and testing threshold for each. The challenge has been to find a testing limit that allows veterinarians and trainers to treat horses for illness or injury without leaving the door open for drugs to modify performance or risk safety. To accomplish this task, the RMTC calls upon a scientific advisory board of 15 regulatory veterinarians, private practitioners, chemists, and others to review existing research and commission new studies when necessary.
Additionally, RMTC Executive Director Dr. Dionne Benson updated the Board on significant progress toward full adoption of the National Uniform Medication Program (Program). According to Dr. Benson, 17 states have adopted both the CTS and Third-Party Administration of Furosemide policies, while 12 states have adopted the Multiple Medication Violations penalty system, and 27 states are now receiving testing services from RMTC-accredited laboratories. Noteworthy additions to the list of racing jurisdictions now actively pursuing the Program are Florida, Louisiana and Illinois.
In other business, the RMTC Board granted Interim Accreditation status to the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) at Texas A&M University, which provides testing for the Texas Racing Commission. To achieve this status – the seventh laboratory to do so – TVMDL was required to submit an extensive application, pass a rigorous site inspection, and successfully complete one round of the External Quality Assurance Program.
“I am extremely proud that the drug testing section of the TVMDL has been granted Interim Accreditation by the RMTC,” said Dr. Glenn Blodgett, president of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA). “Texas lies in the heart of quarter horse racing, and the AQHA is very proud to add another RMTC-accredited lab. Along with the AQHA, I would like to personally congratulate the Texas lab for this accomplishment.”
The RMTC also unveiled its new website at the meeting. The website is designed to make it easier to find information about the National Uniform Medication Program, including the research projects of the RMTC that support the Program, as well as current information regarding RMTC’s additional efforts to strengthen the health and safety of horses and the integrity of racing. The website is now available to the public at rmtcnet.com.
The RMTC consists of 23 racing industry stakeholders and organizations that represent Thoroughbred, Standardbred, American Quarter Horse and Arabian racing. The organization works to develop and promote uniform rules, policies and testing standards at the national level; coordinate research and educational programs that seek to ensure the integrity of racing and the health and welfare of racehorses and participants; and protect the interests of the racing public.