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Congressman Chris Collins

Representing the 27th District of New York

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Collins Introduces Bill to Reduce Costs on Prescription Medications for Pets

Apr 11, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) and Congressman Matt Cartwright (PA-17) today introduced The Fairness to Pet Owners Act. This legislation would save pet owners money by allowing them the freedom to choose where they buy prescription pet medications.

Currently, pet owners must ask for a written prescription from their veterinarian for medications. Most consumers do not realize they have the right to request a written prescription in order to shop around and find the prescription at a lower cost. This bill ensures that pet owners receive a written script, either on paper or electronically, which gives more power to the consumer to choose where to purchase their pet’s prescription.

“When it comes to eyeglasses or contacts, consumers receive a copy of their prescription and are able to do the research to find the lowest price,” said Collins. “As a pet owner myself, I know that most owners will do anything to keep their pets happy and healthy, although these expenses do add up. There is no reason that pet owners shouldn’t have the flexibility to shop around to see if they can save some money.”

“As a dog owner, I know how much of an investment it is to have a pet,” said Cartwright. “This bipartisan legislation is a simple, yet important step in giving pet owners the flexibility they need to save money and keep their animals healthy.”

“PetSmart is pleased Congressman Chris Collins and Congressman Matt Cartwright have reintroduced the Fairness to Pet Owners Act,” said Kathy Mitchell, Senior Director, Government Affairs at PetSmart. “We believe the benefits of pet ownership should be accessible to all Americans. Helping to lower the cost of caring for a pet is a fundamental part of ensuring everyone can experience the joys of pet ownership. Giving pet owners the ability to take prescriptions to their preferred pharmacy will help achieve this goal.”

“Just as the Contact Lens Prescription Release Act gave contact lens wearers the right to receive a copy of their prescription so they had the choice as to where to purchase their lens, the Fairness to Pet Owners Act will give pet owners the right to choose where to purchase pet medication,” said Robert D. Atkinson, President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. “This legislation is pro-consumer and pro-competition.”

This issue impacts most American families, 65% of households in the United States own at least one pet spending a total of approximately $10 billion on pet medications each year. Pet medications are a significant and frequent expense, with 77% of all dogs taking some sort of medication.

This legislation has the potential to create competition in the marketplace leading to lower costs for consumers. Additionally, consumers will have more flexibility to purchase generic medications or have them filled online or at big box pharmacies, which are oftentimes cheaper. For example, a common heartworm tablet given once a month to dogs is sold for about $61 at a veterinary clinic but a generic version retails for only $42, saving a pet owner more than $200 per year.

For a copy of The Fairness to Pet Owners Act, click here.