Whether it’s H.R. 1406, the Fairness to Pet Owners Act, or the selling of pet medications both online and at other brick-and-mortar retailers, veterinarians are being challenged with the issues surrounding veterinary medications and their availability.
The AVMA has been working with members of Congress and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in order to best represent the interests of both the veterinary profession and pet owners when it comes to veterinary medications. Now, it’s your turn to weigh-in.
The FTC will host a one-day public workshop on Oct. 2, 2012, in Washington, D.C., that will examine the many issues related to pet medications and the pet medications industry. The AVMA will participate in the meeting, and we urge as many of our members who can attend to do the same. The workshop is free, and no preregistration is required.
As part of the fact-finding process, the FTC is also inviting public comment on the issue, and we urge you to take advantage of this opportunity to let your feelings be known. The Federal Register Notice regarding the upcoming workshop includes the listing of several questions that the FTC would like veterinarians to address. Some of these questions pertain directly to the practice of veterinary medicine, such as:
• What evidence exists to support a need for federal legislation requiring veterinarians to provide written prescriptions to their clients?
• Is there a need for federal legislation requiring veterinarians to notify clients that they have the right to fill their prescriptions at the pharmacy of their choice?
• How might the passage of H.R. 1406 affect price, consumer choice and other forms of competition in the pet medications market?
• Is it appropriate to deny veterinarians the ability to charge a fee or require a waiver of liability for providing a written prescription to clients?
• What risks or inefficiencies may be posed by prescription portability for pet medications?
• What compliance costs would veterinarians face if H.R. 1406 were enacted?
To see the full list of questions to which the FTC is seeking comments, visit the FTC’s website or see the Federal Register Notice. Comments, submitted electronically or through the mail, are due by Sept. 14, 2012.
Many of our members continue to express their concerns to us about how their practice – and their clients – might be affected if H.R. 1406 is passed and signed into law. The AVMA continues to actively oppose H.R. 1406. However, we also need you to share your comments with the FTC. Only if decision-makers are well-educated can we hope that the decisions made are in the best interests of all involved.