Submission Number: 560891-00481
Received: 9/14/2012 2:17:50 PM
Commenter: Karen Bradley
Organization: Onion River Animal Hospital
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Pet Medications Issues, Project No. P121201
Attachments: No Attachments
I am writing to comment on the pet medications issue brought before you by H.R.1406.
This law is absolutely unnecessary and would have a negative impact on my daily veterinary practice.
As a practicing companion animal veterinarian in Vermont, I am constantly aware of the consumer pricing my clients face when making choices for their pets. From the cost of food and medications to flea/tick preventatives to diagnostic tests and treatments when the pet is ill. There are many basic medications that I prescribe everyday that need to be started in a timely manner and I find that most clients are appreciative of the ability to get a cost effective and medically effective medication at my facility--without the need to drive to a pharmacy and wait longer to get the medication that may or may not be less expensive for them.
I also very frequently phone in prescriptions for medications that I do not stock in my clinic. My staff is constantly checking in with several different pharmacies and trying to identify for the client the lowest price medication option before establishing the prescription. They do this because our clients ask the cost of the medication and we do not always know--and because as advocates for the patient (the pet) we want to ensure that the client can provide the medication for the patient within their budget as often as possible.
The following are just 2 examples of this from the same day (yesterday):
--A script for fluoxetine 20mg daily for a dog 2-month supply cost $50 at a large chain-retail pharmacy. At the same pharmacy, the 10mg pills for a 2-month supply cost the client $5. Needless to say, we altered the prescription to be 10mg tablets and had the client administer 2 tablets daily to save them $45.
--A patient needed an anti-fungal medication for a severe infection and fluconazole or itraconazole would be appropriate. We called several pharmacies and priced these 2 different medications and ultimately called in the prescription that was expected to be medically effective and more affordable.
My clinic, my staff, and I do not receive any financial benefit from such transactions. When clients request a written script for a medication to fill outside my clinic, we provide it.
Lastly, as an active member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Vermont VeterinaryMedical Association (VVMA), I echo the comments they have submitted on behalf of me, one of their members.
Karen Bradley, DVM