The Federal Trade Commission will host a one-day public workshop on October 2, 2012, to examine competition and consumer protection issues in the pet medications industry. The quality and cost of pet medications is an important pocketbook issue for many consumers. In 2011, 62 percent of U.S. households owned a pet, and Americans spent an estimated $50 billion on their pets, including nearly $7 billion for prescription and over-the-counter pet medications.
The workshop will bring together consumers, veterinarians, business representatives, economists, lawyers, academics, and other interested parties 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, portable prescriptions that they can fill wherever they choose; and the ability of consumers to verify the safety and efficacy of pet medications that they purchase. The workshop will examine ways to inform and empower consumers to obtain the highest quality and most cost-effective healthcare products for their pets. The workshop will also examine the extent to which recent changes to restricted distribution and prescription portability practices in the contact lens industry might yield lessons applicable to the pet medications industry.
The workshop will be free and open to the public. No pre-registration is required. Public comments will be accepted through November 1, 2012.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT:
Stephanie Wilkinson (Conference Organizer)
Office of Policy Planning