Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Pet Medications Issues, Project No. P121201 #560891-00133

Submission Number:
Brian Abraham
Noah's Ark Veterinary Practice
New York
Initiative Name:
Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Pet Medications Issues, Project No. P121201
As a veterinarian in practice over 20 years, I strongly object to the proposals being made regarding prescriptions. Our clients aleady have easy access to outside pricing with regards to medicines and supplements. That in itself has created its own set of problems. Without a vet's advice, people are often choosing products that may not be appropriate for their pets. For example, I recommend milbemycin for collies and shelties. For other dogs I may or may not advise additional tick protection, or something different for a dog with sensitive skin issues. In addition, we get constant calls from frustrated clients asking why we can't approve an on-line prescription for heartworm prevention when the dog has not been heartworm-tested or hasn't been seen by us in three years! Furthermore, it's been proven that very often the products obtained on-line may be counterfeit and even dangerous. As a licensed vet, we are well-trained in what is best for our patients. By writing out prescriptions for every medicine, we will be opening the door to a host of other problems. First of all we have "client-compliance". We already have our share of clients who fail to properly administer the meds we've dispensed. Give them a prescription and they will either fail to get it filled OR they will fill it AFTER they've used up what we dispensed from the clinic. So our patients could either wind up not getting any medicine OR too much!! Of course we can count on a lot more phone-calls from confused pharmacists questioning our doses or telling us they don't carry that particular drug but asking us to prescribe something similar. And I certainly don't want to be held accountable for any adverse reaction to a medication that I did not dispense myself. Now let's talk about the "time-factor". When we dispense meds and supplements, we print out a label with all pertinent information on it. We take the time to carefully explain why we are using these meds, what to expect and so forth. Now the proposal would have us write out a prescription, even if we are dispensing meds, and phot-copy it for our records. And who will pay for my extra time (of which I have very little), especially if I'm discussing the pupose of these meds but not even making a small profit on them And I'm sure there are clients out there who will take the meds from us, have second thoughts and go to a pharmacy, and then want to return our meds to us!Is that acceptable Can we still charge a re-stocking fee The bottom line is, we know what is best for our patients. Veterinary medicine has evolved differently than human medicine. We are used to having our own pharmacy(for multiple species), especially because many of us run "hospitals" that give 24-hour care and we therefore must have all these medications available to us. The fact is, when clients ask for a prescription, we have no problem writing one, especially when that patient requires long-term care. We work with compounding pharmacies as well, and we have excellent oversight so long as we manage the doses, refills and do periodic recheck exams. The point is, veterinarians don't need to have an unnecessary burden placed upon them, one that will create a whole new set of problems! We put in enough long, hard hours, often at the expense of our families. We are far more accessible then human doctors(so my clients tell me), and I think we know what works best for our profession. Sincerely, Dr. Brian Abraham [redacted]