Pharmacy Botched Polo Horse Meds

A Florida pharmacy says it mistakenly prepared medication for 21 polo horses that died Sunday.

The horses had mysteriously fallen ill just before they were to compete in a match at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington.

Jennifer Beckett of Franck's Pharmacy in Ocala, Fla., told the AP in a statement the business conducted an internal investigation that found "the strength of an ingredient in the medication was incorrect."

"On an order from a veterinarian, Franck's Pharmacy prepared medication that was used to treat the 21 horses on the Lechuza Polo team," Beckett said. "As soon as we learned of the tragic incident, we conducted an internal investigation."

She said the report has been given to state authorities.

Lechuza also issued a statement to AP acknowledging that a Florida veterinarian wrote the prescription for the pharmacy to
create a compound similar to Biodyl, a French-made supplement that includes vitamins and minerals and is not approved for use in the United States.

"Only horses treated with the compound became sick and died within 3 hours of treatment," Lechuza said in the statement. "Other horses that were not treated remain healthy and normal."

State authorities have been investigating. The pharmacy says it is cooperating with the investigation.

The horses, from the Venezuelan Lechuza Caracas team, had reportedly appeared dizzy and disoriented as they were being unloaded from their trailers.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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