Formal Title: Workshop on Pet Medications Issues; Notice of workshop and request for comments
The Federal Trade Commission seeks public comments in connection with a workshop to examine competition and consumer protection issues in the pet medications industry. The workshop’s goal was to consider how current industry distribution and other business practices affect consumer choice and price competition for pet medications, the ability of consumers to obtain written prescriptions that they can fill whenever they choose, and the ability of consumers to verify the safety and efficacy of pet medications that they purchase. The workshop also examined the extent to which recent changes to restricted distribution and prescription practices in the contact lens industry might yield lessons applicable to the pet medications industry.
The AVMA has concerns with mandatory prescription writing for veterinarians. Veterinarians are already writing prescriptions for clients, which is supported by state laws and the Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics of the AVMA. The AVMA asserts that veterinarians should honor client requests for written prescriptions when the decision is made to treat a patient with a particular prescription drug. However, mandated prescription writing is unwarranted.
The AVMA appreciates the FTC’s careful analysis of how the Fairness to Pet Owners Act of 2011 (HR 1406) would affect veterinary practitioners and the availability and access to drugs for treating household pets, including dogs, cats, birds, and certain exotic species. Although the AVMA is supportive of a client’s right to fill a prescription at their pharmacy of choice, the AVMA strongly opposes any federal mandate that requires a written prescription be provided, regardless of whether the client chooses to, or can, go elsewhere. The AVMA believes HR 1406 is redundant and will cause undue regulatory and administrative burdens on veterinary practices. It is burdensome and unnecessary to require a written prescription as well as a written notification that the prescription may be filled elsewhere, regardless of whether the client is having a prescription filled by the veterinarian.