By: Dr. Ted Cohn, AVMA president
We did it!
The AVMA is elated to announce that President Barack Obama has signed into law the long-awaited Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act (H.R. 1528), making it legal for veterinarians to provide complete medical care to their animal patients beyond their clinics and across state lines.
Image courtesy of the AVMA
By passing and signing this legislation, the president and our legislators recognize the critical role veterinarians play in treating sick animals and relieving their pain and suffering. The health and welfare of our nation’s wildlife, food animals, and even our companion animals depend on veterinarians being allowed to do their jobs wherever the need arises. On behalf of our members, I would like to thank the president and Congress for allowing us complete access to the medications we need to fulfill our oath to society.
I would also like to thank the staff in AVMA’s Governmental Relations Division for their tireless work in getting this bill passed. They have led a remarkable advocacy campaign in coordination with our allied organizations and I am very grateful for their service and dedication to our membership.
I would also like to thank all of our members for your continued support on this important issue. This work proves that when AVMA’s members bring forward concerns, we listen; and we work extremely hard to ensure that our leaders in Washington craft public policies that promote the health and welfare of animals and advance the veterinary profession.
What does this new law mean for you? This law amends a restrictive provision within the Controlled Substances Act, which previously barred veterinarians from transporting, administering and/or dispensing controlled substances—necessary for pain management, anesthesia and euthanasia—beyond their registered locations, often their clinics. Specifically, it states:
“a registrant who is a veterinarian shall not be required to have a separate registration in order to transport and dispense controlled substances in the usual course of veterinary practice at a site other than the registrant’s registered principal place of business or professional practice, so long as the site of transporting and dispensing is located in a State where the veterinarian is licensed to practice veterinary medicine and is not a principal place of business or professional practice.”
We advise any veterinarians who are unclear on how to comply with the updated regulations to consult the Diversion Control Program Manager at their respective Drug Enforcement Administration field offices for more information.
Thank you all for your continued support. We hope you will continue to stay connected with us on other federal advocacy efforts by joining the AVMA Congressional Advocacy Network (AVMA-CAN) and signing up for our monthly e-newsletter on what is happening in Washington.