Submission Number: 560891-00082
Received: 7/31/2012 7:25:28 AM
Commenter: Elizabeth Hassinger
Organization: Wolf Rock Animal Health
State: Rhode Island
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Pet Medications Issues, Project No. P121201
Attachments: No Attachments
Pet ownership is a choice, and it comes with a level of financial and social responsibility that is not supported by such legislation. As a veterinarian, I am a small business owner. I own and run a full service veterinary clinic staffed and equipped to meet the needs of my patients. This means having an XRay suite, a laboratory, a surgical suite and all of the supplies that are needed to support these facilities. In addition, I maintain a pharmacy and OTC supplies in order to provide what my patients need, when they need them. The majority of my customers prefer to leave my office with the medications in hand that they will need.
Because I employ full time staff to inventory, order, stock and dispense these supplies, the costs for providing these medications and subsequently the price that I need to charge, is higher than that of an online or discount retailer.
If even 30% of my clients decide to buy their meds at Walmart or another discounter, then I will be forced to discontinue my pharmacy all together. In addition, because there will be no income generated by these sales, the price that I will need to charge my clients for basic services, will need to be greatly increased.
One of two things will happen here. Either veterinary hospitals all over the USA will be letting their staff go and closing their doors forever, or, the cost of basic veterinary care will sky rocket.
Neither of these is good for the animals. The people may have saved a buck on a medication, but they won't be able to afford the office call with the veterinarian that they need to get the prescription. Plus, they will need to wait for 12-48 hours for a prescription to be filled, and the patients will not get their medications as quickly as they should. Lastly, costs for emergency services, surgeries and basic care will increase, and the consumers may neglect basic veterinary care for their pets. In the end, the level of care and attention that the animals will receive will suffer.