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Bilirakis and Cartwright Introduce Bill to Help Americans Afford Pet Medications

March 8, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON –Representatives Matt Cartwright (PA-08) and Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) introduced legislation on Thursday to protect American consumers by giving them greater freedom to choose where they fill drug prescriptions for their household pets.

The Fairness to Pet Owners Act allows pet owners to receive a copy of their pets’ prescriptions without having to request it, pay an extra fee for it, or sign a waiver or liability disclaimer. That way, they can decide to buy their pets’ medications at their local or online pharmacy, a big box retailer, or another location of their choosing.

This legislation would protect consumers by enhancing market competition, which can benefit pet owners “in the form of lower prices,” according to research on the issue by the Federal Trade Commission.  

“When Americans are struggling to put food on the table, we must do all we can to help them stretch their dollars,” said Congressman Cartwright. “This legislation will give consumers greater access to affordable medications, so families can save money and keep their pets happy and healthy.”

“As Co-Chairman of the Humane Bond Caucus, I am always looking for opportunities to improve the treatment and care of our four-legged friends,” said Congressman Bilirakis. “With this bipartisan legislation, we can help make pet ownership more affordable. By ensuring transparency in pricing, pet owners can secure the lowest possible cost for the medications their furry family members need.” 

Specifically, the Act would establish the right of consumers whose pets are prescribed an animal drug to receive a digital or paper copy of the veterinary prescription, at no extra cost and without having to request a copy.

The legislation is co-sponsored by Representatives Chris Collins (NY-27) and Rob Bishop (UT-01).

Senator Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, has introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.