Providing a prescription is better for pet owners

In human health we have separated prescribing from filling … in order to improve the practice of medicine

American Medical Association

  • “Where there is the potential of a conflict of interest between the physician’s financial interest and that of the patient, the physician is required to so advise the patients, and resolve the conflict to the patient’s benefit.”
  • Physcians can no longer accept incentives or inducements to prescribe certain medications
  • Physicians can not sell medications

American Veterinary Medical Association

  • Pet owners should be given a copy of their pet’s prescription upon request
  • There is no enforcement of the prescription release guideline
  • Veterinarians prescribe and sell pet medications, most manufacturers only sell their medications to veterinarians which restricts distribution and therefore, increases costs for other pharmacies serving pet owners, and too many vets delay or refuse to release prescriptions, effectively restrictingcustomers from shopping outside of their vet clinic

FTC Insights about prescription release

The following insights were discovered and stated by the FTC in relation to eyeglasses and contact lenses

  • In 1978, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) promulgated the Ophthalmic Practice Rules, widely referred to as “the Eyeglass Rule,” giving eyeglass wearers the right to automatically receive copies of their prescriptions without having to ask, pay a fee, or sign a waiver. 1 In promulgating this Rule, the FTC found a lack of awareness on the part of consumers that they could choose to purchase their eyeglasses from a retailer other than their prescriber
  • ”In the absence of automatic release … consumers may not know to ask for their prescription.”
  • “By far the most frequent practice employed to discourage consumers from shopping elsewhere is the charging of a fee for the prescription .. .if the consumer requests his prescription.”
  • The Commission also expressed concern with the practice which “involves the conditioning of the release of a prescription on the signing of a waiver of liability.” The use of such a waiver, the FTC found, could “have a significant impact on the consumer’s decision whether to take his prescription elsewhere,” and “have the effect of making consumers erroneously believe that other dispensers are not qualified….”

 

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