Congress is back and the issue of whether veterinarians should be required by legislative mandate to write a prescription at the time of prescribing for small animals, regardless of whether or not you would also dispense the product to your client, continues to be discussed in House and Senate offices. But are congressional members and their staff hearing the right message when it comes to H.R. 1406, the Fairness to Pet Owners Act?
Here’s our take. A federal law is overkill. States already govern veterinary prescription writing; in fact, 19 states legally require veterinarians to provide a copy of the prescription upon request and other states have policy in place. Also at issue is the animals’ health and welfare. Veterinarians are the best-qualified to provide guidance when dispensing these products for animals.
A letter recently sent to Congress and signed by state and national veterinary organizations further enforced the message that veterinary medicine supports a client’s choice but is opposed to a federal mandate. The message clarified why the proposed law is unnecessary and how it will place an undue burden on veterinarians, a majority of which are small business owners.
While the AVMA GRD continues to educate our policymakers, we also need veterinarians to get the message out. Visit the AVMA Congressional Action Network and ask your Members of Congress to oppose any legislation that would require veterinarians to write every prescription.