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IVMA neutral on state fee for pharmaceutical firms
Kuna, Idaho - Estimates of how much revenue the state might receive from a proposed annual fee for veterinary pharmaceutical firms in Idaho could be inflated by as much as double, according to the Idaho Veterinary Medical Association (IVMA), which is taking a neutral stand on the measure.
Kuna, Idaho — Estimates of how much revenue the state might receive from a proposed annual fee for veterinary pharmaceutical firms in Idaho could be inflated by as much as double, according to the Idaho Veterinary Medical Association (IVMA), which is taking a neutral stand on the measure.
The bill is up for consideration a second time, after being killed last year amid strong opposition from the IVMA. It would charge manufacturers of animal and veterinary drugs $800 annually.
The IVMA is taking a neutral stance due to member ambivalence and moderate changes — particulary how the fee will be enacted — from last year's proposed bill, says Vicki Smith, IVMA executive director.
Estimated to bring in about $200,000 a year, the funds would go to the Idaho State Department of Agriculture's (ISDA) livestock disease control and tuberculosis indemnity account.
With the governor committed to provide matching funds, the bill will supplement the department's declining brand inspection revenues and offset rising service costs.
Resolution of last year's uncertainty over using a per-product versus per-company charge and less member opposition have led the IVMA to stand neutral, rather than opposed to the bill, Smith says.
Small-animal practioners are far removed from the ISDA, believed to be the reason behind an only 10 percent member response to an IVMA online poll to gauge members' reaction and interest. Out of more than 500 members, about 36 respondents opposed the bill, with 27 in favor.
Financial questions also linger with ISDA naming 302 statewide companies that will pay the annual fee, while an IVMA committee could only identify about 90, Smith says.
"That is part of the controversy. Will it raise the money they say? We are pretty doubtful," Smith says. "The whole crux is going to be how many of these companies there are."
There also is concern for DVMs who rely on smaller manufacturing companies for pharmaceuticals. "We are concerned there will be small companies out there that will disappear if they have to pay this fee," Smith says.
The fees also could impact pet owners at some point. "We are hoping this isn't going to reflect badly on client costs," she says.
The bill soon will be up for discussion in the state Senate. If it passes there, it would then go to the governor for final approval.