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FVMA says drug bill might have national impact


Tallahassee, Fla. — The Florida Veterinary Medical Association (FVMA) is working to stifle a bill that would allow non-human medications to be processed with only a faxed prescription.

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. — The Florida Veterinary Medical Association (FVMA) is working to stifle a bill that would allow non-human medications to be processed with only a faxed prescription.

The bill also increases the number of technicians supervised by a pharmacist from three to five, a compromise to the seven the bill initially sought. The additional technicians are necessary according to officials in order to keep pace with requests for animal prescriptions.

Dr. Don Schaefer

Three other medical associations are working hand in hand with the FVMA, including the Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine, Pharmaceutical Board and Florida Pharmaceutical Association to encourage a veto of the bill by Gov. Jeb Bush.

"Florida would be the first state to have different standards of distributing drugs," explains Don Schaefer, FVMA's executive director. "This is dangerous because so many animal drugs are used for people."

The bill was sponsored in part by PetMed Express, a Florida-based online pharmacy, a factor that created interest with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Schaefer says.

"The AVMA needs to respond when there is scientific impact to change the veterinary practice act in order to get a legal perspective of exactly what the bill can do and when the association needs to determine if it should or should not support the bill.

The bill would allow first-time prescriptions and refills to be filled without the prescribing physician's consent.

"The AVMA is concerned because of the bill's possible ramifications," says Sharon Granskog, AVMA assistant director of communications. "Since they can send prescriptions nationally and owners can send the same prescription to different pharmacies, we think this will lead to fraud and abuse."

The AVMA is reaching out to veterinary pharmacies and asking them to write to the governor to say they oppose the bill's lower standards.

"If this bill is made into law, it is bad news for the AVMA," Schaefer says. "The law would take a trickle-down effect to other states because of the precedent."

A second issue FVMA was contesting involved non-veterinarians performing medical procedures on pets. The bill died in the senate and never came to a floor vote in the House of Representatives, Schaefer says.

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