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.