2014

Drs. Foster and Smith Challenges Restricted Distribution of Veterinary Medications

RHINELANDER, Wis., Oct. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In an op-ed article in Pharmalot published Tuesday, October 8th, Drs. Foster and Smith, the nation's largest catalog and online seller of pet supplies, challenges the restricted distribution practices of some veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturers. http://www.pharmalive.com/pharmalot

To quote from the op-ed, Dr. Race Foster says:

In our opinion, the practice of drug manufacturers restricting distribution of certain veterinary pharmaceuticals largely only to veterinarians is anti-consumer and anti-pharmacist while serving no legitimate purpose.  By preventing some fully-qualified pharmacies from obtaining their products, the drug manufacturers limit consumers' choices of locations they can buy their pets' medications, leading inevitably to higher prices being charged to consumers.

Dr. Foster is a veterinarian himself and is a strong advocate for veterinarians.  Nevertheless, the practice of restricting distribution, Dr. Foster believes, is built on the faulty premise or perhaps excuse that, veterinary medications are safely dispensed only through veterinarians.

In addition to pointing out how such practices negatively affect consumers, Dr. Foster points out the adverse effect of restricted distribution on some pharmacists:

We believe this practice by certain drug manufacturers unfairly restricts pharmacists' ability to practice the profession for which they have been trained. 

The subject of restricted distribution was discussed at length at the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Pet Medication Workshop held in Washington, D.C. in October of 2012.  Dr. Foster was a panelist at the workshop and presented a written presentation, as did John Powers and Gordon Magee, executives with Drs. Foster and Smith. Their submissions can be found on the FTC Pet Medications Workshop website page. 

As pointed out at the Workshop, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy issues a Vet-VIPPS certification to online pharmacies which pass a series of rigorous criteria. Earning the Vet-VIPPS designation certifies that pharmacies—and their pharmacists—are qualified to dispense veterinary pharmaceuticals. Vet-VIPPS stands for Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Sites and requires that pharmacists, not veterinarians, fill prescriptions. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the national association of veterinarians, points both pet owners and veterinarians to Vet-VIPPS as a source to locate pharmacies which are qualified to dispense veterinary pharmaceuticals.

The fact that nearly every veterinary school in the country has a pharmacist, not a veterinarian, in charge of its pharmacy is also evidence that pharmacists with continuing education in veterinary pharmacology have the qualifications to dispense pet medications.

Dr. Foster concludes his Op-ed with the following quote:

The end results of these restricted distribution practices, in our opinion, are limited choices and higher prices for the consumer and the denial of the ability of a fully qualified pharmacist to dispense a medication a pet needs.  We believe such restricted distribution should end.

About Drs. Foster and Smith

Drs. Foster and Smith is the nation's largest catalog and online seller of pet supplies.  They are also the leading veterinary-owned pet product supplier, providing pet owners with veterinary advice and quality pet supplies at affordable prices for over 30 years. Since their modest beginnings in the early 1980s operating four veterinary clinics in northern Wisconsin, Dr. Race Foster and Dr. Marty Smith have become the nation's foremost authorities on pet care and education, earning a strong reputation for the scope of their veterinary expertise on prescription medications, dogs, cats, fish, birds, reptiles, horses, pond life, and small animals.   For more information visit:  http://www.DrsFosterSmith.com or http://www.LiveAquaria.com

SOURCE Drs. Foster and Smith



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