Late yesterday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee met to discuss the markup of H.R. 1528, the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act. As the meeting began, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-Pa.) urged the others on the committee to support the bill so that veterinarians will be able to legally transport, administer and dispense controlled substances in the field to provide the highest level of care to their patients. Without any further discussion or dissent from the committee, H.R. 1528 was approved through unanimous consent.
This is a major victory for the veterinary profession! It brings the bill just one step closer to being sent before the full House, which AVMA is hopeful could occur as soon as next week. The Senate has already unanimously passed its version of the bill back in January, so once H.R. 1528 gets passed out of the House, it will pave the way for the bill to get signed into law by the president.
Not only will the bill clarify the Controlled Substances Act so that veterinarians will be permitted to bring and use controlled substances in the usual course of practice outside of their registered locations, but it will also seek to alleviate the legal burdens for veterinarians practicing along state borders, so that they can continue to provide care to their animal patients in multiple states.
The legislation, introduced by two veterinarians in Congress Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), has an impressive amount of bipartisan support in the House of Representatives, including 177 cosponsors, 28 of whom sit on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It has also been endorsed by over 130 organizations, including all 50 state veterinary medical associations.
We would like to thank all AVMA members for contacting their legislators. Your support has helped move the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act one step closer to becoming law. If you have not done so yet, you can still contact your legislators today and urge them to support the bill.