Gentle Touch Animal Hospital
Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Pet Medications Issues, Project No. P121201
I have been a veterinarian for over 21 years, and strongly oppose H.R. 1406 for many reasons. In the veterinary industry, like other human health industries, a big part of our job is client education. We do not have separate pharmacists in our industry, so we, as veterinarians, serve as doctor and pharmacist. Often times, our patients do not metabolize drugs in the same manner as humans, and I am extremely concerned that patient care will suffer if veterinary therapeutics are put in the hands of human pharmacists. I also worry about client compliance. In our industry, compliance is a big concern. If the pharmaceutical role is taken out of the hands of veterinarians, it will make it more difficult to educate clients and improve compliance. I am also concerned about the unnecessary burden put upon us should this law be passed. I spend a lot of time overseeing a patient's medical needs. Just like human patients, many of my patients are on multiple drugs, some of which require a delicate balance to regulate. In my practice, it becomes more difficult and time consuming to monitor drug therapy in patients that have elected to obtain medications elsewhere. I don't hesitate to write prescriptions for those clients requesting them, and there are some drugs that I don't keep on the shelf and have filled elsewhere. Often times, a patient leaves the hospital with 4 or 5 medications. Should I have to stop and write a prescription for every medication, and then explain to the client why I am required to do so, it would take up time that could be better spent seeing other patients. As a small business owner, I am also concerned about the financial implications. If clients chose to have medications filled elsewhere, it would cause my pharmacy income to decrease dramatically. This would force me to raise fees elsewhere to make up for the lost pharmacy income as well as the lost income due to time spent writing prescriptions and discussing this law with clients vs. seeing additional patients. If H.R. 1406 passes, the only winners are the big box stores and on line pharmacies. Cost to clients would ultimately increase due to the above stated reasons, and patient care will suffer. Those individuals supporting this bill are not the ones who have spent huge sums of money to go to veterinary school, and certainly aren't the ones investing time and energy to become the best advocate for the patient.