Texas bill grants written prescription rights

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Austin, Texas — Texas House Bill 522, if passed, would require veterinarians to write prescriptions for client's pets on demand — an issue that creates numerous concerns for the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) as well as practitioners.

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Texas House Bill 522, if passed, would require veterinarians to write prescriptions for client's pets on demand — an issue that creates numerous concerns for the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) as well as practitioners.

Although many Texas veterinarians regularly issue prescriptions for clients who purchase their pets' medication elsewhere, this bill has no limits, officials say.

Chris Copeland

"We've got some big concerns with the bill considering no exceptions are listed," TVMA general counsel Chris Copeland says. "There are cases where the client would be able to use the prescription in an inappropriate manner, whereas now the veterinarian administers the medication at the clinic."

There is no distinction in H.B. 522 in its current form. The veterinarian cannot refuse the owner a prescription.

State Rep. Tony Goolsby, of Dallas, sponsored the bill and did not consult the TVMA, Copeland says.

"The bill is very sterile," says Ron Allen, executive director of the Texas State Board Veterinary Medical Examiners. "There are too many variables in this bill. Texas legislators plan to create more general legislation and leave it up to the board to flush out."

A hearing date for H.B. 522 had not been set at presstime. The bill currently is being hashed out in the House Agriculture and Livestock Committee.

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