With so many interesting topics to discuss, I try to vary my blog posts. However, I feel the need to elaborate on my previous post titled “Legislative Awareness: A Battle Worth Fighting.” On both a state and national level, organized veterinary medicine diligently fights for the privilege every veterinarian has, to practice veterinary medicine in his or her own manner, contingent upon the laws that enable it.
HB 1406, the Fairness to Pet Owners Act of 2011, is a piece of national legislation that would impede the way each of us prescribes medication. For information on the bill, please refer to the AVMA issue brief. The bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives April 6, 2011 and referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health. One of the U.S. Senators from Connecticut, Senator Richard Blumenthal, is considering sponsoring the bill in the U.S Senate.
This past Monday, April 30, I, along with Dr. Arnold Goldman (the AVMA delegate from CT), had the opportunity to meet with Senator Blumenthal to discuss this issue. Senator Blumenthal was gracious and well-informed regarding the bill. The Senator’s motivation for support revolves around consumer choice. While the desire for choice is a fundamental American value, we feel it must be tempered with adequate protections for the health and safety of the pets we care for.
Senator Blumenthal took the time to listen to our concerns and debate the merits of the bill with us. I left the meeting with a deeper respect for Senator Blumenthal and felt he will give fair consideration to the profession’s concerns. I consider it an honor and privilege to have met with a U.S. Senator to discuss a matter important to our profession. I hope our efforts were fruitful and that we will not suffer unneeded regulation of our ability to prescribe and dispense medication.