By: Dr. Clark Fobian, AVMA president
We are pleased to announce that the U.S. House passed the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act today! This important bill will make it legal for veterinarians to transport and use controlled substances beyond their primary places of registration and across state lines to treat their animal patients. As you may recall, the Senate passed its version of the bill back in January, so today’s action by the House brings the bill one step closer to the president’s desk.
The AVMA has been working on getting this bill passed for over a year. The AVMA’s Governmental Relations Division (GRD) has met with the Drug Enforcement Administration and members of Congress and their staff many times to explain why a restrictive provision in the Controlled Substances Act needed to be amended so veterinarians would be permitted to use all of the tools available to provide the best care for their patients–both at their clinics and beyond. The AVMA has helped raise awareness on the issue by running several advertising campaigns in D.C. publications, conducting interviews with media, informing members and the public at our conferences, and developing many resources and tools for members and other allied organizations to use to get the word out about the importance of this bill.
We could not have made it this far without the help of our members and allied groups. AVMA’s members have been rallying together in an urgent call to action—sending more than 27,000 letters to their members of Congress in support of the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act. We also have been joined by over 130 veterinary medical and other organizations who have endorsed this bill. The work on this bill proves that together, we can accomplish great things on behalf of our profession.
We would be remiss if we did not thank those in Congress who have been pivotal in helping push this bill forward. We especially would like to thank the bill’s four sponsors—Representatives Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), the only two veterinarians serving in Congress, and Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Angus King (I-Maine)—for spearheading this legislation and shepherding it through Congress. We would also like to thank those within the House Veterinary Medicine Caucus who educated their colleagues about the importance of this bill, which helped the bill gain 185 cosponsors.
While we celebrate today’s victory, we want to remind you that we still have many other pieces of legislation that warrant your support before Congress ends in December. We encourage you to sign up for The AVMA Advocate, a monthly e-newsletter on what is happening in Washington, and the AVMA Congressional Advocacy Network (AVMA-CAN), which will alert you to when we need your help on federal legislation. You can also follow the AVMA-CAN on Facebook and Twitter.
We will be sure to update you once the president signs this bill into law. Your help has truly made a difference so that veterinarians can continue providing the best care for their animal patients. Thank you once again for the outpouring of support you have shown for this bill.
We’re almost across the finish line!
(For more information, see AVMA’s press release.)