Submission Number: 560891-00512
Received: 9/14/2012 10:32:15 PM
Commenter: M Elizabeth Benson
Organization: Best Friends Veterinary Center
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Pet Medications Issues, Project No. P121201
Attachments: No Attachments
The passage of HR1406 would potentially result in decreased patient care and would create a significant burden in already struggling veterinary practices. Furthermore, it is unnecessary since most veterinarians, including myself, generally write a precription if requested.
There are several issues to consider. First, when a precription is filled at a non-veterinary pharmacy,specific instructions regarding species differences may be lacking, as well as information regarding adverse effects. Human pharmacists are not trained to know the differences in animals. Not only are animals different than people phatmacologically, but each species is different in the way they handle drugs. Cats are not small dogs! Likewise, when dealing with birds and other exotic pets, tiny doses are often needed, and a human pharmacy may not be able to accomodate these doses. Veterinarians are uniquely trained to know the differences between their various patients. Communication between pet owners and doctors is vital to ensuring the best care for their patients.
Secondly, a significant burden in terms of time will be placed upon the veterinarian as well as the staff. This can only result in a general fee increase, which will more than offset any savings in medication cost realized by the pet-owner.
This is really a lose-lose-lose situation. The patient will lose due to decreased patient care, the client will lose because general veterinary fees will increase, and veterinarians will lose in terms of the added burden on their practices, and potentially some loss of income. However, for me personally, I now make little money on my pharmacy, but use it instead to provide a needed service to my patients and clients. I suspect this is true in many veterinary practices in recent times.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to some of my concerns.
Sincerely, M Elizabeth Benson, DVM