Oppose the Fairness to Pet Owners Act of 2016
Tell Congress to oppose mandatory prescription writing
Take action by contacting your legislator today!
Please join the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association (GVMA) as we oppose the Fairness to Pet Owners Act of 2016 (H.R. 3174), which would require a veterinarian to provide a client with a written prescription for domesticated household animals, whether or not requested by the client. The veterinarian would be prohibited from charging for the prescription or asking a client to sign a liability waiver related to writing the prescription.
Write your federal legislator - this alert gives you all you need - a sample letter, letter writing tips and message points.
Veterinarians would be required to:
- provide a copy of the veterinary prescription, including by electronic or other means, to the pet owner before offering to fill or dispense the prescription;
- provide a copy of the prescription by electronic or other means consistent with applicable state law if it is requested by the pharmacy or other person designated to act on the pet owner’s behalf.
Veterinarians may not:
- require purchase of the animal drug for which the veterinarian has written a prescription from the prescriber or other person as a condition of providing a copy of the veterinary prescription or verifying the prescription;
- charge the pet owner a fee, in addition to or as part of the fee, for examining and evaluating the patient as a condition of providing a copy of the veterinary prescription or verifying the prescription;
- require the pet owner to sign a waiver or disclaim liability of the prescriber as a condition of providing a copy of the veterinary prescription or verifying the prescription.
How you can help
1. Identify your U.S. House Representative by clicking here and providing your zip code.
2. Write a letter asking your House Representative to oppose the Fairness to Pet Owners Act of 2016 (H.R. 3174 or S. 1200). See the sample letter and message points below.
3. Enlist your fellow veterinarian professionals to do the same.
4. Please refer any media inquiries to GVMA at 678-309-9800 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We have dedicated media-trained spokespersons to ensure consistent messaging.
Your address (or use letterhead stationary)
The Honorable John Doe
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Congressman Doe:
As a veterinary professional, I am writing to express my opposition to H.R. 3174 the Fairness to Pet Owners Act that mandates veterinarians write a prescription for domesticated household animals whether or not it is requested by the client.
(Include one or two concise paragraphs describing your concerns in your own words).
With this in mind, I respectfully ask that you oppose the Fairness to Pet Owners Act and its federal mandates.
Your consideration of this matter would be truly appreciated.
Velma Veterinarian, DVM
Tips for a great letter
- Mail (preferably) or fax your letter for the best results. You may also opt to e-mail your letter as text pasted in the body of the e-mail.
- Refer to your legislator in the address box as "The Honorable".
- Be succinct. Message points, below, are provided but are not required.
- The letter should not be a form letter so use your own language.
- The GVMA supports a pet owner’s right to choose where they have their prescription filled; however, H.R. 3174 is burdensome and unnecessary. It would have a tremendous negative impact on veterinarians as it would create substantial paperwork and time commitments.
- H.R. 3174 requires a veterinarian to provide a pet owner with a copy of the prescription even if the pet owner wants the veterinarian to dispense the medication. This is time-consuming for veterinarians without providing any additional protection for the pet owner. Since the veterinarian is already required to write a prescription in the medical record, this law would require that the prescription be written a second time even if the pet owner has no intent of having the prescription filled at a pharmacy.
- Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine regulation 700-8-.01-Unprofessional Conduct adequately protects pet owners by requiring veterinarians to write a prescription for clients when requested.
- The American Veterinary Medical Association has a longstanding policy encouraging veterinarians to write a prescription in lieu of dispensing when asked by a client, as is referenced in the Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics of the AVMA.
- Clients already have the flexibility to fill a prescription on-site or off-site at a pharmacy of their choice.
- Open communication between the client and veterinarian is part of the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship.
- Decisions regarding a pet's care and its welfare are collaborative between a veterinarian and the client.
- Studies show that pet owners are more likely to follow through with obtaining the prescription if they get it in the veterinary clinic during their visit. Also, when prescriptions are filled in the veterinary clinic, and a veterinarian is there to answer questions and provide guidance, it results in better health outcomes.
- Veterinarians are uniquely educated and trained to make treatment decisions using sound clinical judgment, current medical information.