Salt Lake City, Utah (PRWEB) February 13, 2014
On Monday Feb 10, in a bipartisan show of support for the nation's 75 million Americans who own pets, Representative Jim Matheson (D) of Utah’s Fourth Congressional District and Jason Chaffetz (R) of Utah’s Third Congressional District cosponsored the Fairness to Pet Owners Act, which enables pet owners to automatically receive a copy of their pet’s prescriptions without paying a fee, signing a waiver, or specifically asking. The bill empowers pet owners to comparison shop their pet’s prescriptions and is expected to lead to meaningful reductions in the cost of pet ownership for the 572,000 households in Utah and the 75 million American households with at least one dog or cat.
The bill’s official designation is H.R. 4023.
The Fairness to Pet Owners Act requires veterinarians to provide to pet owners a copy of their pet’s prescriptions. Currently pet owners do not have a right to a copy of their pet’s prescriptions and they often encounter resistance when they ask for a copy. Unlike prescriptions for humans, pet prescriptions are generally filled in the office of the prescribing veterinarian, despite pet medications being increasingly available at pharmacies and drug stores.
The Fairness to Pet Owners Act will reduce the cost of pet medication expenses by injecting new competition into the marketplace. Consumer Reports finds that the best place to get your pet medicines isn’t from your vet… where markups start at 100 percent and can go as high as 1000%... but from the local pharmacy.
While all pet owners will benefit from being able to comparison shop for the best prices for pet medicine and greater transparency about what they pay for pet medications and pet care, it is the less affluent and their pets who will benefit the most.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reports that pet mortality is 3.5 times higher in poorer neighborhoods than in wealthier neighborhoods. Since average-sized dogs cost pet owners about $1,500 a year… including $230 in average annual medical costs… and cats about $1,000 per year, less affluent pet owners simply have less cushion in their budgets for pet medications and preventative care.
The Fairness to Pet Owners Act is patterned after the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act of 2003, which Representative Matheson also cosponsored. That law requires optometrists and others to automatically issue prescriptions to their patients. Studies show that since the passage of the law, contact lenses are less expensive and more options are available to consumers.
Pet owners can show their support for the Fairness to Pet Owners Act by going to http://www.apaw.org and using the available tools to quickly and easily send a letter to their Congressional representative.
About APAW. The Advocacy for Pets and Affordable Wellness (APAW) is a national coalition of pet owners, pet companies, and pet advocates dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of America’s pets and empowering pet owners everywhere to demand affordable, quality health care and medicine for their animals. APAW is an active advocate for the Fairness to Pet Owners Act.