Submission Number: 560891-00074
Received: 7/30/2012 10:57:55 AM
Commenter: Karen Blakeley
Organization: All Pets Veterinary Clinic
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Pet Medications Issues, Project No. P121201
Attachments: No Attachments
I have one word to sum up this entire issue.... RINGO.
Ringo WAS a client of mine. He is now dead. He is dead because the human pharmacy system misfilled a prescription. Ringo was a champion breeding dog that had obtained a penis injury. He was seen by several specialists and had an expensive surgery to correct the problem. Over the course of treatment Ringo developeed a resistant bacterial infection in his urinary tract and required a special antibiotic to remedy the infection. The medication that was filled was the wrong medication and Ringo ended up dying as a result.
The medication that was filled did not have a similar name or spelling. (It didn't even start with the same letter.) The prescription was a refill of a prescription he had previously and yet he still ended up with the wrong antibiotic. While I do not doubt that veterinary pharmacies make mistakes I firmly believe they have a higher chance of being caught earlier if they are left in the hands of veterinary staff. Human pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are not trained in veterinary pharmacology. (Would you want your veterinary pharmacy filling your own personal prescription?) There are many dose differences, interactions, side effects, etc. that vary tremendously from human medicine.
As for the economic impacts of this issue. The goal of providing owners with fair prices/more competition on prices is a fair one. However, you do need to realize that the costs of everything else that occurs at a veterinary clinic will increase to compensate for changes that are made if new laws are invoked so in the end, the consumer will not save more money.