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The Fairness to Pet Owners Act Designed to Make Pet Prescriptions More Affordable

20:00 EDT 2 Jun 2015 | Globe Newswire

EAGLE, Idaho, June 3, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new bill (S.1200) known as The Fairness to Pet Owners Act, plans to make filling and purchasing pet prescriptions convenient and more affordable for pet owners.

The Fairness to Pet Owners Act would require veterinarians to provide a copy of the prescription, just as doctors do for human prescriptions. The pet owner can then decide whether to have the prescription filled with the vet or at a pharmacy of their choice. According to Veterinary News, the sponsors describe it as a "bill to promote competition and help consumers save money by giving them the freedom to choose where they buy prescription pet medications, and for other purposes."

If passed, pet owners would automatically receive a copy of their pet's prescriptions without having to ask, pay a prescription release fee, or sign a waiver. Receiving pet's prescriptions will improve convenience for pet owners by giving them more shopping options, thus allowing pharmacies and vets to compete by lowering prices.

Today, thousands of local pharmacies carry dozens of pet prescription medications, both branded and generic. Consumer Reports states, "Vets' markups over wholesale start at 100 percent and frequently hit 160 percent. And for some medicines the markups are even higher." Consumer Reports ultimately advises pet owners, "Where is the best place to get medication for my pet? Not from your vet. They sharply mark up their drug prices, and tack on a $5 to $15 dispensing fee, according to the American Animal Hospital Association. For many pet meds, a better bet is your local pharmacy."

Most consumers are unaware that they can purchase pet prescriptions outside of their vet clinic. In May of 2015 the Federal Trade Commission released a report on the market place for pet medications. The report states: "FTC staff believes that currently there are constraints on prescription portability and that these constraints likely are limiting competition between veterinarians and retailers in the sale of pet medications, which may result in harm to customers." The report continues, "FTC staff concludes that competition in the pet medication market likely would be enhanced by, and consumers of pet medications likely would benefit from, greater prescription portability."

The Fairness to Pet Owners Act puts the control back in the hands of the consumer giving them the option to fill their pet's prescription where they desire, at a lower cost. APAW, supports this bi-partisan bill sponsored by Senators Blumenthal (D), Lee (R), and Schumer (D).

To show your support for The Fairness to Pet Owners Act, visit http://www.apaw.org/take-action/.

About APAW
The Advocacy for Pets and Affordable Wellness (APAW) is a national coalition of pet owners and advocates dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of America's pets and empowering pet owners everywhere to demand affordable, quality health care and medicine for their animals.
For more information, please visit: www.apaw.org. True Science supports organizations like APAW that champion affordable access to pet care.

CONTACT: Amy Gregory
         True Science
         208-939-8900 ext 333
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