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Medication And Testing Consortium News

Published: October 15, 2015 2:10 pm ET

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At its October 13 meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, 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 medications are:

  • Ranitidine – an anti-ulcer medication;

  • Cimetidine – an anti-ulcer medication;

  • Cetirizine – an anti-histamine; and

  • Guaifenesin – an expectorant.

The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council, working in conjunction with the UC Davis Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, performed the research necessary to support inclusion of these medications on the CTS List. 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.

“AAEP is most appreciative of the efforts of the RMTC to complete the appropriate research to allow for the addition of four important therapeutic medications to the Controlled Therapeutic Substances List,” said past AAED president Dr. Jeff Blea. “AAEP requested the addition of these particular medications to allow practitioners to maintain a high standard of care in a regulatory environment, and it's gratifying to witness the industry synergistically working together to accomplish what is best for the horse and for racing.”

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.

Commenting on the status of the Program, RMTC Chairman Alex Waldrop said, “The RMTC staff is working cooperatively with multiple industry organizations to achieve full implementation of the National Uniform Medication Program. Eleven states have now adopted the Program in its entirely and almost every other major racing jurisdiction is now in the process of approving some or all of the Program. While there remains much work to be done, the RMTC Board is encouraged by the fact that a steadily increasing number of states are embracing these all-important reforms.”

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


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