AVMA continues opposition to pet prescription legislation

Published on May 10, 2017
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The AVMA has renewed its opposition to federal legislation that would require a veterinarian to provide a client with a written prescription for a companion animal’s medication, whether the client requests it or not.

The Board of Directors on April 7 approved a recommendation of “nonsupport” from its Legislative Advisory Committee for the Fairness to Pet Owners Act (HR 623), which was introduced in three previous congressional sessions, starting in 2011, but never enacted.

House Republican Jason Chaffetz of Utah reintroduced the bill this January, purportedly as a means of promoting competition and helping consumers save money by giving them the freedom to choose where they buy prescription pet medications.

The bill directs the Federal Trade Commission to promulgate rules requiring a veterinarian to provide a copy of the prescription every time a medication is prescribed for a companion animal.

Additionally, the veterinarian would have to provide a written disclosure that clients may fill prescriptions at the veterinary clinic or at an off-site pharmacy and verify a prescription electronically or by other means consistent with applicable state law.

The AVMA’s opposition to the bill stems from its long-standing policy encouraging veterinarians to write a prescription in lieu of dispensing a medication when the client requests it. The Association believes HR 623 is not only redundant but also will cause undue regulatory and administrative burdens on veterinary practices.

The LAC also noted in its recommendation to the Board that individual states are the appropriate governmental bodies to regulate the practice of veterinary medicine.

More information about the AVMA’s legislative priorities are available here

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