Vet Mobility Act Reported out of House Energy & Commerce Committee

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The House Energy & Commerce Committee reported the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act (H.R. 1528) out of Committee on April 3, 2014. The bill is sponsored by Representatives Kurt Schrader of Oregon and Ted Yoho of Florida, both of whom are veterinarians.

The Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act amends the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to clarify that veterinarians are allowed to transport, administer and dispense controlled substances and medications outside of their registered offices and hospitals. It would ensure equine veterinarians have the ability to provide mobile or ambulatory services in the field to the horse community as they traditionally have.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) changed its interpretation of provisions of the CSA regarding what veterinarians may carry with them and has stated it now believes it is illegal for veterinarians to transport controlled substances and medications for use outside of their registered locations, such as an animal hospital.

But equine veterinarians often provide mobile services and treat horses at farms, training facilities, horse shows or racetracks. In many cases it is not possible for owners to bring their horses to a clinic or hospital. For this reason, veterinarians have for years carried any medications they may need with them secured in their vehicle. Their ability to do this and provide care to horses in the field is in jeopardy without this legislation.

This bill now goes to the full House for consideration. The Senate passed its version of the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act in January of this year.