Have you ever seen a mobile veterinary clinic? Most people would answer, “yes.” Did you know that the services veterinarians at those clinics can legally perform is severely limited? My guess is most people would answer, “no.”
Presently, under the Controlled Substances Act—enforced by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency—the transportation and administration of “controlled” drugs by veterinarians outside of a registered location is prohibited. In essence, a licensed veterinarian cannot take a majority of his or her lifesaving medicines to animals in need. Instead, the animals have to be brought to a stationary facility.
That is all about to change thanks to the bi-partisan support of the U.S. Congress. On July 8, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, which mirrors the U.S. Senate version passed on January 8.
The bill allows a veterinarian to “transport and dispense controlled substances in the usual course of veterinary practice at a site other than such veterinarian’s principal place of business or professional practice, as long as the dispensing site is located in a state where the veterinarian is licensed to practice.”
Once signed into law by the President, the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act will allow veterinarians to provide much-needed care to a host of animals in desperate need—from dogs and cats in rural areas of the country to ranchers who cannot feasibly transport livestock to stationary clinics. The greatly-expanded suite of services that veterinarians will be able to administer without fear of retribution will go a long way in the humane treatment of animals by paving the way for sick animals to receive care that might not otherwise be feasible. Passage of the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act is a common-sense solution that should be applauded.