Mandatory prescription bill reintroduced in Congress – take action now
On February 10, Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT-4th) reintroduced the so-called “Fairness to Pet Owners Act” (H.R. 4023), which applies to drugs prescribed for domesticated household animals. Like its predecessor in the previous Congress, HR 1406, the bill would require a veterinarian to provide a client with a written prescription, whether or not requested by the client. The bill goes further, and would require the veterinarian to provide a copy of the prescription by electronic or other means, if requested by a pharmacy or a designee of the pet owner. Finally, the veterinarian would be prohibited from charging any fee for writing the prescription or asking a client to sign a liability waiver related to writing the prescription.
Requiring a written prescription regardless of whether the client is having it filled by their veterinarian is burdensome and unnecessary. Clients already have flexibility in filling their pet’s prescription at the veterinary clinic or a pharmacy of their choice.
The Federal Trade Commission is still working on a report that will issue findings and recommendations following a 2012 workshop that addressed competition and consumer protection issues within the pet medications industry. Introducing legislation prior to the release of the report is premature when it has not been determined that there is, in fact, a problem in need of a solution.
Please contact your House of Representatives’ member in opposition to the Fairness to Pet Owners Act (H.R. 4023) today!