Vet, FTC meeting affirms pharmacists' animal medication role

Veterinary groups support pharmacist-dispensed pet meds

RHINELANDER, Wis. — A meeting with federal officials last week indicated that pharmacists' importance in dispensing animal drugs is growing.

Last Tuesday, pharmacists and veterinarians met with officials from the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., for a four-session meeting that affirmed pharmacists' increasing role, according to online pet supply company Drs. Foster and Smith.

Drs. Foster and Smith cited a study showing that about 6 million pet prescriptions were filled at pharmacies outside veterinary offices in 2011. The company also estimates that as much as 50% of all heartworm medications and arthritis drugs for animals will be dispensed at pharmacies rather than veterinary offices and hospitals in the near future.

"We stand behind the [American Veterinary Medical Association's] principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics, which encourages veterinarians to honor a client's request for a written prescription," AVMA president Douglas Aspros said at the FTC meeting. "The AVMA is supportive of the client's right to choose where they have their prescriptions filled."

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the AVMA had endorsed Veterinary Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site certification, or Vet-VIPPS. The sentence has been removed.

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- 11:51 AM
lwhite says

The American Veterinary Medical Association supports this article’s reference to Dr. Aspros’s statement, as we believe veterinarians should honor a client’s request for a prescription in lieu of dispensing. We are also engaging with pharmacy groups to promote best practices, including licensed pharmacist training in veterinary pharmacology. That said, there is an inaccuracy in the article and we ask that a correction be made. The AVMA does not “endorse” Vet-VIPPS. The term “Vet-VIPPS” is incorporated into our Internet Pharmacies policy to support our statement that pharmacy accreditation is one factor to consider when evaluating the quality of a pharmacy. That is not an endorsement nor is it intended to be. Lynne White-Shim, MS, DVM Assistant Director, Scientific Activities AVMA

- 3:49 PM says

Lynne, Thank you for pointing that out. The error has been corrected. The story was based on a third-party press release, and we didn't use any information that came directly from the AVMA.

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