Issue of prescription writing will continue in 2012

January 2012

By Dr. Ashley Morgan, assistant director of the AVMA GRD

H.R. 1406, the Fairness to Pet Owners Act and the issue of mandatory prescription writing at the state and federal level will continue to receive a lot of attention this year. Although we haven't seen a Senate companion bill or much movement on H.R. 1406, we remain diligent in our outreach to congressional offices. Might there be an opportunity this year to invite your congressional delegates to visit your clinic? Many Members of Congress and their staff have never been in a veterinary clinic and don't understand how our practices differ from physicians' offices. They also don't realize that some veterinary products are only available through a veterinarian, so a written prescription would be impossible to use elsewhere.

And while the AVMA continues to educate congressional offices, we are also a valuable resource for veterinarians who would like information about prescription writing requirements. Take a moment to refresh your memory on your state's laws governing veterinary prescription writing and when you can use drugs, including human drugs, in an extralabel manner. Please contact us with questions or see the Frequently Asked Questions on our website. The Food and Drug Administration's website is also a great reference, particularly regarding extralabel drug use and concerns with online pharmacies. Be sure to take a look at their online pharmacy brochure: Buyer Beware!

The AVMA is also taking this opportunity to talk with both pharmacists and pet owners on our stand on this issue and why we don't believe it will serve the needs of either the public or their animals and hope that members will do the same.

For more information please contact Dr. Ashley Morgan, assistant director, AVMA Governmental Relations Division.

The AVMA Advocate - News Bites - January 2012