Prescription Mandates: Bad for Veterinarians and Their Patients

Help Us Stop This Bill!

For years now, some members of Congress have pushed for a new federal regulation implementing prescription mandates. This legislation would force veterinarians to provide written copies of all prescriptions they issue for companion animals, even if the client does not want a written copy or if the medication is only available through a veterinarian.

In 2017, Congress has once again introduced prescription mandate legislation, misleadingly called the “Fairness to Pet Owners Act” (H.R. 623). The AVMA opposes this legislation because it will require veterinarians to waste time on red tape instead of what’s most important: caring for patients. Many veterinary clinics are small businesses with limited administrative resources, so this extra regulatory burden may impact the number of patients they can see or even force pet care costs to rise for consumers.

Additionally, prescription mandates are unnecessary because in most cases, clients are able to receive written prescriptions by simply asking. The AVMA’s Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics advise veterinarians to provide written prescriptions when asked, and a majority of states have similar laws or policies. There’s no need for extra federal regulation on this issue.

The AVMA supports client access to prescription options – but prescription mandates aren’t the way to achieve that access. Visit our Congressional Advocacy Network to stand up to this unnecessary and burdensome legislation.

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