Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Pet Medications Issues, Project No. P121201
The FTC should look into the practice of pet food that can only be purchased with a prescription. Originally the food could only be purchased at the vet's office. Now it can also be purchased at a Petsmart but only a Petsmart with a Banfield vet clinic, presumably because it requires the attention of a vet. Not all Petsmarts have a Banfield and depending on where you live, you may have to drive a long way to get to one. At first the Banfield receptionist would take your prescription and issue you a scannable prescription card to use at checkout. But now the Banfield people say Banfield is no longer part of the transaction and you just show your vet's prescription to the Petsmart employee (who has absolutely no veterinarian experience) at checkout. Why is a prescription even required The food is more expensive than regular food so you wouldn't buy it unless you have to. And, per the vet, cats without renal problems can eat it with no adverse effect. I think this is anti-competitive behanvior on the part of the pet food makers and vets to keep the price high and to drive pet food sales to the vets' office.