Mandatory prescription bill reintroduced in Congress

​On February 10, Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT-4th) reintroduced the so-called “Fairness to Pet Owners Act” (H.R. 4023), which applies to drugs prescribed for domesticated household animals. Like its predecessor in the previous Congress, HR 1406, the bill would require a veterinarian to provide a client with a written prescription, whether or not requested by the client. The bill goes further, and would require the veterinarian to provide a copy of the prescription by electronic or other means, if requested by a pharmacy or a designee of the pet owner. Finally, the veterinarian would be prohibited from charging any fee for writing the prescription or asking a client to sign a liability waiver related to writing the prescription.

At the time of the bill’s filing, there was only one cosponsor, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT-3rd).  The bill has been referred to the House Commerce and Energy Committee. The AVMA Government Relations Division (GRD) will be in contact with the executive directors of state and allied VMAs with next steps in working to defeat this insidious legislation. Meanwhile, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Ashley Morgan at GRD, who is lead advocacy person on this bill at AVMA.