Media Coverage

Merck launches first livestock pain relief treatment in US


Feb 02, 2018 - Animal Pharm

By Malcolm Flanagan 
Animal Pharm
February 2, 2018 


Merck Animal Health has introduced a combined fever and foot rot treatment for cattle in the US. 

Merck said its Banamine Transdermal treatment "is the first and only US FDA-approved product for pain control in a food producing animal".

The flunixin transdermal solution is approved for the control of pain associated with lameness and fever associated with bovine respiratory disease (BRD). Banamine Transdermal is a prescription-only product "that meets the best management practices outlined in the US industry's beef quality assurance program". The pour-on application eliminates injection-site lesions within the carcass at marketing and reduces risk of residues.

Merck said the pre-calibrated packaging and red-colored solution help ensure the correct dose is given every time. The bottle design makes it simple to apply topically as a pour-on on dry skin in a narrow strip down the animal’s midline from the withers to the tail head. The product is for use in cattle/steers, beef heifers, beef cows, beef bulls intended for slaughter, and replacement dairy heifers under 20 months of age.

Banamine was approved by the FDA in July last year. While pain has been a common target in the global companion animal space, the product is a sign of the growing concern for food animal welfare globally.

Scott Bormann, vice president of North America commercial operations for Merck, said: "Banamine Transdermal is a breakthrough innovation with its patented delivery. It is the first and only non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) cattle product available as a pour-on, and the latest example of Merck's commitment to improve animal health and well-being, and provide animal caregiver solutions that help deliver a safe, sustainable food supply.

"The pour-on application eliminates the time-consuming and stressful treatment process associated with intravenous administration, which is the administration route of previous NSAIDs."

Dr Scott Nordstrom, associate director of scientific marketing affairs at Merck, said: "Studies show that a single dose of Banamine Transdermal is absorbed into the bloodstream within minutes and has long duration of activity at the site of inflammation. This gives cattle the best opportunity to recover quickly and return to productivity.

"In field studies at four US locations involving animals diagnosed with BRD, 58.3% of cattle treated with Banamine Transdermal had at least a 2ºF drop in temperature within six hours of treatment compared to 6.1% for the placebo group. Significant results also were seen in two studies around pain associated with foot rot, which showed that 93.3-100% of cattle treated with Banamine Transdermal had improved lameness scores compared to 6.7% and 53.3% for the placebo groups.

"Veterinarians and producers are increasingly addressing the relationship between animal well-being and lost performance. Pain mitigation in animals also is a growing goal across the food chain. Fever and foot pain can cause cattle to stop eating and drinking. Banamine Transdermal can help cattle feel better for a healthy and productive outcome." 

Merck Animal Health is known as MSD Animal Health outside North America. It is based in Madison, New Jersey.   

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