AVMA Speaks Out Against Federal Prescription Writing Mandate

The AVMA supports veterinarians honoring client requests for written prescriptions, but is opposed to mandatory prescription writing, as indicated in AVMA’s comments submitted to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) earlier today. The FTC is the federal regulatory agency that would have jurisdiction over implementing HR 1406, should it become federal law. HR 1406 would mandate that a prescription be written every time a veterinarian determines that a household pet needs a prescription drug.

Comments from the public are sought by the FTC, as it analyzes HR 1406 and prepares for its October 2, 2012 workshop on pet medications in Washington, D.C. Veterinarians are encouraged to write their own comments, which can be submitted directly to the FTC between now and November 1 (note: the comment period has been extended). Veterinarians can also view the October 2 workshop, which will be webcasted, and the workshop agenda. The AVMA plans to attend and participate in the FTC’s panel discussions on October 2.

The AVMA believes HR 1406 is redundant and that it will cause undue regulatory and administrative burdens on veterinary practices should it become federal law. The AVMA is supportive of a client’s right to choose where to have a prescription filled, per the Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics of the AVMA. Clients already have the flexibility to fill a prescription at their veterinary clinic or at a pharmacy of their choice.

7 thoughts on “AVMA Speaks Out Against Federal Prescription Writing Mandate

  1. Hi AVMA,

    I do have concerns about filling animal prescriptions at a pharmacy created to serve humans.

    However, as long as the veterinarian explains that is has to be a certain way and a certain dosage and warns not to accept product x or product y in lieu of the proper prescription, then it’s nice to have the choice of where to fill the prescription.

    It might be convenient to fill it right at the veterinarian’s office or if a person is going shopping anyways, it might be convenient to fill it at a pharmacy – but only with the above mentioned veterinarian counseling.

    Last thing a client wants to do is give a dangerous med or improper dose to their beloved pet.

    =^..^= Hairless Cat Girl =^..^=

    • Thank you for your thoughtful feedback! You are quite right that no one wants a beloved pet to receive the wrong dose or wrong medication, which underscores the need for excellent communication among the individuals involved. This includes individual pharmacist-veterinarian consultations to discuss any information the pharmacist might need regarding the prescription to be filled, such as verification with the prescribing veterinarian should the pharmacist have any question about the medication or dosage. And it certainly also includes the veterinarian and client having a good working relationship and very clear communications for the benefit of the pet. We again really appreciate your taking time to reach out to us on this important topic.

  2. Concern I have with human pharmacy is when the client is looking for a deal at one of the large discount store pharmacies, the pharmacist is giving the client suggestive ideas of other medicine that they should request the veterinarian to script out so they can get it for $4. What they are not understanding is that suggested drug is not used for the problem the animal has. Causing time, frustration, delay of treatment, and money to explain this to the client.

    • We really appreciate your time and sharing your observations and concerns on this topic. Certainly, veterinarians want what’s best for patients, including no delays in treatment and receiving appropriate consultations when obtaining the dispensed medication. Fortunately, the Federal Trade Commission has extended the public comment period until November 1, so you still have an opportunity to share your comments. Kindly feel free to go to the above-listed hyperlink “FTC” to submit your perspectives (I have updated the link and new comment deadline above). Real-world experiences from practicing veterinarians like yourself are certainly welcome.

      Again, thank you for taking the time to share your observations.

  3. Dear Dr. Hottenstine,

    Thank you for sharing your concerns. Your experiences in clinical practice are in line with some other concerns we’ve heard from veterinarians. It’s practicing veterinarians like yourself who can offer especially insightful perspectives into possible ramifications of HR 1406 (should it become law) and real-world experiences you have to share on relevant pharmacy issues in practice. As much as we appreciate your posting concerns here (and we do!), it’s even more important that you – and veterinarians like yourself who are in practice – share your observations directly with the FTC. Fortunately, you still have time to do just that – you can go to regulations.gov (see “federal docket system” above for direct link) and post your comments anytime before 11:59 PM Eastern time tomorrow (Friday) night.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to share your perspectives.

  4. prescription drugs for pets/clients are already available by request. Any drug an owner would like filled elsewhere is readily filled if available. Our problem with mandatory prescriptions is twofold:

    1: human pharmacists are not familiar with many veterinary only drugs and their potential interactions and side effects in both pets and people. They also commonly do not fully understand veterinary prescription terminolology and dosage. I have frequently had my owners told my dosages were damgerous and wrong simply because the human pharma cist did not understand veterinary pharmacolology.

    2. Redundancy. If a drug is to be filled at our practice it is both confusing to the owner and a waste of resources to write a prescription to be handed back to me within 2 minutes. Owners do not understand the prescription, just that it neds to be filled. Price shopping at multiple pharmacies may now lead toa delay in starting a necessary medication.

  5. prescription drugs for pets/clients are already available by request. Any drug an owner would like filled elsewhere is readily filled if available. Our problem with mandatory prescriptions is twofold:

    1: human pharmacists are not familiar with many veterinary only drugs and their potential interactions and side effects in both pets and people. They also commonly do not fully understand veterinary prescription terminolology and dosage. I have frequently had my owners told my dosages were damgerous and wrong simply because the human pharma cist did not understand veterinary pharmacolology.

    2.