AVMA President’s Weekly Update: HR 1406, the Fairness to Pet Owner’s Act

I must emphasize the importance of contacting your Congressional representatives about H. R. 1406, the Fairness to Pet Owner’s Act.  It is redundant and unnecessary, and quite frankly insulting to me as a veterinarian.  It requires us, as doctors of veterinary medicine, to:

  1. provide a written prescription for every medication we would prescribe for an animal’s health condition;
  2. provide written disclosure owners can fill that prescription at any pharmacy, not just our clinic; and
  3. that if a pharmacy, Internet or otherwise, faxes an Rx request, and we initiated the original prescription, we need to verify the prescription, and not allow us to require sending the written Rx to the owner for them to fill as they choose. 

Washington needs to hear our side on this issue.  It is the AVMA policy that veterinarians provide a prescription to their clients if so desired.  The best medications for animals, in my opinion, are those filled with veterinary approved products, labelled for efficacy and safety in animals.  However, certainly there are times when we need to prescribe human medications authorized by AMDUCA, the Animal Medicine Drug Use Clarification Act,  for whatever reasons – convenience, unavailability of a veterianry equivalent, price, etc.  Yet, veterinarians should be the ones advising pet owners on the use of these medications because we are the ones educated in their use in a variety of species. 

Please go to the AVMA website at http://avmacan.avma.org/avma/issues/bills/?bill=44262501, enter your zip code, and view the prepared letter to send to your Congressman.  It is even better if you edit the letter to customize it as a constituent.  Take this opportunity to see how easy it is to have a voice on important legislative issues.  They must hear our side to make an informed decision, and they want to hear both sides.   It is easy and very important.  If they only hear the “big box retailer” side, that is the information on which legislators will make their decision.  Check out  the website it is easy.

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