Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Pet Medications Issues, Project No. P121201
I do not believe every client should be given a written prescription for each of their medications. About half of my clients already request prescriptions and in many cases if it is less expensive to purchase the medications elsewhere we are offering to script out those prescriptions. Yes, we veterinarians do profit from the medications we dispense and it does keep the cost of entry into our practices lower. By requiring us to script out all meds would definitely be worse on the public as then nearly all of our profits would need to come from office visits and other services. This would greatly increase the cost of our consultation charge which in turn would prevent many people who couldn't afford the consultation to not seek veterinary care. Whereas now, our consultation charge is low, most people can at least afford a consultation, then by working with the veterinarian, together they can figure out the most cost efficient way of treating their pet. But unless they come in to the vet practice, there is no way we can help them. I believe mandatory scripts would hurt pet owners. In addition, human pharmacists are not well educated in veterinary pharmaceuticals. I had one specific example of a cat owner who was at a large retailer and asked the pharmacist what OTC medication she could give her cat for suspected fever. The pharmacist recommended Tylenol. This would have killed the cat. Luckily the owner could not get the Tylenol in the cat and we were able to treat it the following morning. Veterinarians are uniquely qualified to educate pet owners about the medicines they are dispensing.