The London Cat Clinic is acutely aware of novel FIP treatment modalities being offered and readily available on the black market. As feline clinicians we understand the dire need for effective treatment of this inevitably fatal disease. We understand the emotion that drives the decision-making process to obtain such drugs from sources that are not commercially or legally available to us.
The University of California, Davis has provided pilot studies involving GS-441524 (nucleoside analogue) and GC376 (protease inhibitor) with very promising results. Since these studies were first published, oral and injectable formulations of the drugs have been offered online, unlicensed by the patent holder Gilead Sciences Inc. and not subject to any external quality control. More information can be found on the University of California, School of Veterinary Medicine website
The London Cat Clinic cannot promote the use of such unlicensed products of unknown composition, shelf-life, concentration, toxicity and efficacy and neither can we advise on dosage, frequency, duration of treatment or appropriate monitoring of side effects as this is in stark conflict with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon’s Code of Professional Conduct.
However, the welfare of our patients is of the highest priority and we will in all cases fulfil our ethical and legal duty to ensure the individual cat’s medical care is not neglected, should a client consider using the above medications for their cat.
Confirmation of the diagnosis of FIP must be sought whenever possible to ensure cats not suffering from FIP are not put at an unacceptable risk by the inappropriate use of an unlicensed drug, or of having more suitable treatment withheld if the disease isn’t in fact FIP.
As veterinarians we are here to ensure that owners of cats with FIP that have chosen to pursue unlicensed therapy are not compromising the individual cat's welfare by neglecting medical care, especially should treatment be unsuccessful or in the event of the development of adverse reactions, which are at the moment impossible to predict.
We are prepared to monitor the clinical evolution of the patient undergoing treatment and discuss palliative care options if necessary.