Veterinarians using FTC comment period to voice pet medication opinions

Veterinarians who are used to making a difference with scalpels and syringes are now wielding pens as their instruments of choice to oppose proposed pet medication rules.

Approximately 560 individuals or organizations have submitted comments to the FTC regarding proposed H.R. 1406 - the federal mandate concerning prescription writing - and other controversial topics that were discussed during the FTC’s Oct. 2 pet medications workshop.

The majority of the comments are from individual veterinarians and practices, several national associations and organizations, and more than 20 state associations, although some were contributed by parties supporting H.R. 1406.

Still time to comment
Veterinarians who have not submitted comments are not out of luck just yet. The FTC extended the commenting period until Nov. 1, so people still have time to gather their thoughts and submit them for consideration.

The AVMA and AAHA, which were both heavily represented at the workshop, submitted their comments in September. Their submissions only count as one comment each, which means that individual veterinarians can boost the number of comments by submitting their own.

Up next in the process
Following closure of the commenting period, the FTC will review information gathered from the workshop and through public comments, and then it may prepare a report, according to the FTC Federal Register notice.

Dr. Wendy Hauser, of Coal Creek Veterinary Hospital in Colorado, who was a panel member at the pet medications workshop, said she doesn’t think veterinarians should expect any quick actions from the FTC.

“In trying to assess timelines, it may take months or years for the FTC to issue opinions regarding prescription portability, if ever,” Hauser said. “I believe it was essential that veterinary stakeholders were heavily involved in this public workshop. Furthermore, I believe that veterinarians need to remain proactive and vigilant in monitoring the possible bill re-introduction during the next congressional year.”

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