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Schumer and Blumenthal press to make pet meds more affordable

 U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal  and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer seen at unrelated news conference with (L-R) U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer seen at unrelated news conference with (L-R) U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

While most of us get our pet meds directly from our veterinarians, most people do not realize that we are being charged as much as 240% mark-ups on the cost because we aren’t able to ”shop around” for the best prices. As a result, Democratic Senators Charles Schumer of New York State and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut have announced that they are working together on creating legislation that would require veterinarians to write prescriptions on a regular basis. While New York laws do permit vets to provide copies of prescriptions, most only do so “when asked by the animals’ owners,” according to Schumer.

“Pet owners will do just about anything to care for their beloved furry or feathered family members, just like we would do just about anything for our kids. However, it often breaks the bank,” he commented during a press conference outside the a dog park in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park.”

It is now estimated that pet owners throughout the United States currently spend nearly $10 billion on medications and other health-related items for their pets annually. By being able to buy medications (the majority of which are often the same type as used by humans for everything from heart meds and steroids to those for treating illnesses such as diabetes, epilepsy and cancer, etc.) at brick and mortar drug stores, as well as online pharmacies, Senator Schumer believes that New York City pet owners (alone) would be able to save more than $63 million per year. While there has been no comment as yet from the American Veterinary Medical Association, his plan has the backing of the American Society for the Protection of Animals.

Readers can show their support by contacting their own state legislators to back the Schumer-Blumenthal bill when it goes eventually goes to the floor in both the House of Representatives and Senate.