Submission Number: 560891-00604
Received: 10/11/2012 12:33:08 PM
Commenter: Ann Anderson
Organization: Quarry Hill Park Animal Hosp.
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'm concerned about this bill for numerous reasons. I've read both veterinarian and consumer comments previously submitted to this open discussion. Naturally, I agree with most of the veterinary comments. Although I understand why some charge a prescription fee (veterinarians do a lot of work for free, especially phone time)I personally don't charge for a prescription, and have spent much time calling and/or faxing both food and medication prescriptions into other pharmacies or big box stores. I think the market should drive these decisions, not government control. If a client does not like how a veterinarian does things, they can go elsewhere. The government does not need to be involved. But there are two issues which resonate very strongly with me that I haven't seen discussed yet: 1)prescription fraud and 2) on-line pharmacy fraud. Our vet clinic has personally dealt with prescription fraud, involving the police and someone who (although we had never even seen their pet) had obtained a blank copy of our prescription pad and made copies to use any way they pleased. Since this episode, I've no longer given out written prescriptions, but willingly call or fax in prescriptions for both food and medications. This leads us to the other huge concern--on-line pharmacy fraud. If the government forces veterinarians to hand out written prescriptions, people can use them anywhere they want, and there are numerous "not recommended" on-line pharmacies out there selling fraudulent, sometimes toxic products. (please see this link---http://www.nabp.net/programs/consumer-protection/buying-medicine-online/is-that-pharmacy-safe/)
My personal policy is to only fill prescriptions to Vet-Vipps certified as safe sites.
If this bill passes, I will lose the ability to protect myself from fraudulent prescriptions, and to protect my clients from fraudulent on-line pharmacies. However, in both cases it appears that I will be held accountable over things which this bill will have taken away my control.
Thanks for listening, Dr. Ann M. Anderson