FTC Holds Pet Medication Workshop

October 10, 2012

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hosted on Oct. 2 a workshop examining both competition and consumer protection issues in the pet medication industry. The American Veterinary Medical Association and several other panelists spoke out against a proposed federal mandate on prescription writing. Many of the approximately 120 attendees were veterinarians or their supporters. Among many other points made by volunteer leaders (including Dr. Doug Aspros, AVMA President) and staff, the AVMA underscored the robustness of state rules that already exist with regard to writing prescriptions and that veterinarians are held to follow the Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics and the VCPR and prescription-writing standards therein.

The response from the veterinary community to FTC’s inquires in this area has been tremendous. To date, the FTC has received 545 comments on the topic, mostly from veterinarians and veterinary associations. Please note that the comment period was extended to Nov. 1, 2012, so there is still some time to submit your comments if you have not had a chance to do so.

For further details on this event, see the AVMA press release and the FTC’s workshop page. The four workshop sessions were recorded and can be viewed at the following link: http://www.ftc.gov/video-library/index.php/ftc-events/pet-medications-workshop-session-1/1873455343001

We wish to thank the VMAs who in a few days helped the AVMA document over 30 incidents of inappropriate prescribing or dispensing practices involving pharmacies and distributors. In addition, VMAs are encouraged to publicize to their members the existence of a form on the AVMA website that facilitates the reporting of complaints of pharmacy practices that appear to be contrary to FDA and state regulations. The link is: https://www.avma.org/KB/resources/Backgrounders/Documents/complaint_form.pdf.

In addition to submitting the form to the applicable state board of pharmacy, as well as FDA if applicable, AVMA desires to receive copies of submitted forms so that numbers and the nature of complaint forms received can be redacted for anonymity and shared with authorities as needed.