Louisiana Adopts Therapeutic Drug Schedule

RMTC official calls decision a major step given previous delays in adoption.

The Louisiana State Racing Commission Aug. 24 adopted the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule of 26 commonly used substances.

Under the schedule, one of four components of the National Uniform Medication Program, only the anti-bleeding drug furosemide, also called Lasix or Salix, is permitted on race day. The schedule sets testing thresholds and withdrawal times for the drugs on the list.

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, which developed the regulations along with the Association of Racing Commissioners International, has urged Louisiana racing regulators to adopt the program.

RMTC chairman Alex Waldrop, also president of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, said the medication schedule was adopted by reference to the ARCI model rules, which are updated as needed.

"This is a critical first step, and for Louisiana to take this step is noteworthy to say the least," Waldrop said. "We will continue to work with them (on adopt of other parts of the National Uniform Medication Program."

Louisiana has four racetracks, all of which offer Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meets. Graded stakes are held at three of the tracks.

The new regulations will be enforced effective Nov. 15. Louisiana has lagged behind many other states in adopting components of the National Uniform Medication Program, which also mandates third-party administration of Lasix on race day, RMTC laboratory accreditation, and the multiple medication violation penalty system.