Lawmakers aim to ease pet pain and owners' wallets - KPTV - FOX 12

Lawmakers aim to ease pet pain and owners' wallets

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(CBS photo) (CBS photo)
Sen. Charles Schumer and Sen. Richard Blumenthal discuss their push for lowering pet prescriptions. (CBS photo) Sen. Charles Schumer and Sen. Richard Blumenthal discuss their push for lowering pet prescriptions. (CBS photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Lawmakers were hoping to make owning a pet a little easier on the wallet.

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal and New York Sen. Charles Schumer said they were working to pass a law that would change the way owners can get prescriptions for their pets.

Anthony Pires said he loves his dog Max, but admitted that caring for him can get pricey, especially when it involves medication from the vet.

"It's important and has to be taken care of," he said. "So I don't question it, I just pay for it."

Pires said he never realized that he may be able to find Max's medicine someplace else for much cheaper.

According to the senators, pet medications from the vet could cost owners as much as 200 percent more for the same drugs they could get at a pharmacy.

"If you were told the medicine you were buying was 200 percent more expensive than it needs to be for yourself, you would be outraged," said Blumenthal. "The same is happening for pets."

Blumenthal and Schumer have been pushing for a bill that would drive down the cost of pet healthcare. Over the weekend, they announced plans in New York to introduce the federal bill.

If passed, it would require vets to write prescriptions, something they often only do now if asked, instead of selling it themselves. It would give owners a chance to shop around online or at pharmacies to find the best prices.

"Pet owners would do almost anything for their furry, feathered, four-legged family members," said Schumer. "But to do so often breaks the bank and the reason again is because too often they don't get prescriptions from their vets. The vets sell them the medicine directly and it's much more expensive."

Pet medications are already available at most pharmacies. However, most people do not know that they have the option, the senators said.

Going forward, Pires said he would ask for a prescription.

"I believe I would, if I could save money, obviously I would do that," he said.

Pet experts said there were a few ways to keep the health of a pet in check from home.

  • Trim nails
  • Clean ears
  • Clean eyes

Experts also said that taking pets to checkups instead of waiting until something is wrong could also save some money.

There are also a number of websites that offer pet meds.

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