Submission Number: 560891-00250
Received: 9/4/2012 2:50:49 PM
Commenter: Laurel DeMaula
Organization: Royersford Veterinary Hospital
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Pet Medications Issues, Project No. P121201
Attachments: No Attachments
As a veterinarian I have seen numerous instances of clients getting medications from multiple online sources that are counterfeit. Fortunately so far these have been topical flea and tick preparations and the worse thing to happen is that they don't kill the parasites. My concern is that consumers are going to believe that medications from the internet are always identical in safety and efficacy to the one I would give them. I know where my drugs come from and can sell them to my clients with confidence. I do not have any confidence in the online marketplace to keep the welfare of my patients above their profit margins. The pharmaceutical companies tell me they never sell their products to third-party, non-veterinary channels. IF this is true, where are all these drugs coming from? Someone needs to shut down the illegal drug market before all my clients are thrown into the internet without any safety net. Who will pay for the animals medical care if the drug that is purchased either does not resolve or control the problem, or worse, causes other problems due to toxic additives? The pet food scandal caused by Chinese food additives should be a forewarning for you as most ingredients used to make all pharmaceuticals (human and animal)come from China.
Also, writing dozens of scripts every week would be an undo burden on me as a solo practicioner. I did not get any money from the Affordable Care Act to computerize my pharmacy/script writing ability like physicians did. Will I be expected to bear this large burden on top of the losses I will incur from not having clients buy direct from me?
Finally, as a small business, income from all areas of a business helps keep the costs of other areas of a business down. If the income from pharmaceutical sales is taken away from veterinarians and handed to the big box stores, the price for other aspects of veterinary care will need to go up. Transferring drug sales to Walmart et al will increase the cost of care at veterinary hospitals because we will need to raise prices for other services to continue to meet our financial obligations to our staff, suppliers, and lenders.
Yes, clients should be able to get drugs elsewhere if they demand, but in todays unscrupulous world where profit is king, consumers and my patients should not be thrown to the wolves.