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Ruling Means Vets Can Provide Complete Care Beyond the Clinic

11 July 2014

US - Veterinarians across the US will soon be able to carry and use controlled substances to provide complete care to their animal patients beyond their clinics and across state lines due to the US House’s passage of the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) thanks Congress for recognising the important service that veterinarians provide to their animal patients wherever they may be by passing this commonsense piece of legislation, bringing it one step closer to the president’s desk.

“The AVMA was established more than 150 years ago by veterinarians who cared for the animals that provided food and transportation for Americans,” said Dr. Clark Fobian, president of the AVMA.

“Although times have changed since 1865, veterinarians’ need to travel to their patients has not. Congress made it clear that veterinarians are responsible public servants who must be able to use vital medications to treat their patients—no matter the location—so that they receive the best quality care.

"We applaud our elected officials for clarifying federal statute, which has left veterinarians confused and concerned over the past year. We look forward to seeing President Obama sign this important legislation into law in the near future.”

This legislation makes it legal for veterinarians to transport and use controlled substances beyond their registered places of business.

It also allows licensed veterinarians to register in multiple states, regardless of where their principal place of business is located. The Senate unanimously passed its version of the bill on January 8th.

“This is a victory for veterinarians across this country, but more importantly, it's a victory for the health and well-being of the animals they are entrusted to care for,” said Rep. Schrader.

“Ridiculous bureaucratic interference from the DEA would have seriously impeded veterinarians' ability to properly treat their patients. The Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act will provide veterinarians with the certainty they need to continue to providing mobile or ambulatory services for their animal patients.”

Veterinarians have previously been told by the Drug Enforcement Administration that the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) barred registrants from taking controlled substances beyond their registered locations, such as their clinics or homes.

This narrow interpretation of the law has been problematic for veterinarians who provide care in a variety of settings.

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