RMTC Committee to develop withdrawal guidance for controlled substances

By: Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association

Posted: Feb. 7, 2023

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium Executive Committee has charged its Scientific Advisory Committee with developing withdrawal guidance for the screening limits set forth in the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program.

In a Jan. 6 release, the RMTC said the committee’s work will be limited to RMTC-studied medications on its schedule of therapeutic substances, which represents a subset of the HISA controlled medication substances list. The Executive Committee action is subject to approval by the full RMTC Board of Directors in mid-February.

The Federal Trade Commission, the federal agency under which HISA falls, has not yet approved the ADMC Program, though HISA has said it is planning for the program to take effect March 27. Attending veterinarians and “responsible persons” such as trainers will be responsible for determining appropriate withdrawal intervals for controlled therapeutic substances administered to horses covered under HISA.

RMTC Executive Director Dr. Michael Hardy said the Scientific Advisory Committee’s analysis will meet the industry’s need for scientifically-derived information to aid attending veterinarians and horsemen in making medication decisions and to avoid preventable errors. The RMTC’s guidance is intended to promote compliance and will not contravene HISA’s regulations.”

Said Alan Foreman, Chairman of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and RMTC Co-Vice Chair:  “The RMTC has been a trusted and valued industry resource when dealing with the scientific challenges of the proper therapeutic treatment of our horses combined with the need for regulatory controls to protect the integrity of the sport and the safety and welfare of the horse. We have been urging the RMTC to undertake this effort and are pleased that it has agreed to do so.

“The information to be provided by the RMTC is critical guidance to assist our horsemen and veterinarians in complying with the new regulatory limits imposed by HISA.”

Though the date of the launch of the ADMC Program remains up in the air, the Scientific Advisory Committee is planning to have the information ready “well in advance” of March 27.