Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Pet Medications Issues, Project No. P121201
I have been a practicing small aminal veterinarian for almost 30 years. Over that time period I have witnessed a lot of change in our profession some good and some bad. With the internet and media advertisements pet owners are well aware that they can obtain veterinary medications fromm alternative sources. Some of these sources make the veterinarian out to be the evil profit minded doctor instead of the caring pet advocate that most of us are. These pharmacies charge a very low price, close to cost, for easily marketed medications such as heartworm preventative and then a much higher markup for medications that are not commonly known by the consumer. I have had many clients request that we price match a prescription only to find out that my practice charges a lot less than the internet pharmacy. I have also had local human pharmacies miss fill a veterinary product prescription. One filled a medication using the wrong size capsule giving the patient 1/10 the correct dose. The same human pharmacy did not understand a prescription written for a generic formulation of a veterinary product. The pharmacy called, thank goodness, asking what the drug was. The pharmacist should know the chemical names of all the drugs that they dispense both human and animal. If they do not know the name there are sources to look them such as a veterinary PDR. Pet consumers know that veterinary medications are available from other sources than their veterinarian. As a veterinarian I am more than willing to help the pet owner get good quality care for their pet at an affordable cost. Requiring us to write a prescription for every medication that we dispense is redundant. The HR1406 law will not help the pet owner. The FTC efforts would be better spent monitoring the safety and accuracy of the dispensing pharmacies both for pets and people.