September 19 , 2006
Volume IV, No. 7
The 2006 ISVMA Annual Convention is only six weeks away! The deadline for early bird registration pricing is October 6, 2006. Save hundreds of dollars by registering yourself and your practice staff now. You can easily register online and pay with a credit card.
Are you aware of the outstanding program that has been assembled for you? The ISVMA Annual Convention brings outstanding speakers and current hot topics to Illinois so you don’t have to spend all your money on big national meetings to get up-to-date on the latest medical advances, techniques and information. You will have access to as many as 20 hours worth of comprehensive CE courses offered in a three-day, intensive format. The ISVMA Annual Convention allows you to update your skills and knowledge with a minimum amount of time away from your practice.
If you haven't seen a copy of the program it is also available online. Share the program with your staff and encourage them to attend!
There are a limited number of sleeping rooms available at the convention discount rate. It is strongly suggested that you contact the hotel immediately to reserve your room(s). All convention activities will be at the host hotel:
Wyndham Northwest Chicago
The Wyndham is in Chicago's northwest suburbs, right off I-355. Directions to the hotel are on the hotel website at www.wyndham.com/hotels/ORDNW.
The rates are: Single - $109 (plus 11% tax); Double $119 (plus 11% tax).
To receive the special ISVMA Group Discount call the Wyndham at (630) 773-4000 or (800) 996-3426 and mention that you are with the ISVMA Convention. Make your reservation before Tuesday October 4, 2006 in order to receive the special rate.
Veterinarians who will be renewing their DEA registration soon might consider mailing their applications before Nov. 1, when a higher rate takes effect.
The Drug Enforcement Administration is raising the annual fees for practitioners and researchers who handle controlled substances from $130 to $184-or $551 for a three-year registration period. The new fees will affect applications with a postmark of Nov. 1 or later.
Annual fees also are increasing from $1,625 to $2,293 for manufacturers of controlled substances and from $813 to $1,147 for distributors, importers, and exporters of controlled substances.
The Controlled Substances Act authorizes the attorney general, who delegates the administrator of the DEA, "to charge reasonable fees relating to the registration and control of the manufacture, distribution, and dispensing of controlled substances and listed chemicals."
The Appropriations Act of 1993 established the Diversion Control Fee Account as the sole source of funding for the Diversion Control Program, which exercises controls to prevent diversion of controlled substances for illegal uses. The act mandated that fees "shall be set at a level that ensures the recovery of the full costs of operating the various aspects of that program."
The Controlled Substances Act only later extended to control of listed chemicals. The DEA maintained separate funding for diversion control of controlled substances and of listed chemicals. For chemicals, fees covered the costs of registration while appropriated funds covered operating costs for diversion control.
Then the Appropriations Act of 2005 clarified that reimbursements from the Diversion Control Fee Account "shall be made without distinguishing between expenses related to controlled substances activities and expenses related to chemical activities."
Annual fees will rise from $595 to $2,293 for chemical manufacturers; from $595 to $1,147 for chemical distributors, importers, and exporters; and from $255 to $1,147 for chemical retail distributors.
The DEA published the proposal to increase fees Nov. 16, 2005, and published the final rule Aug. 29, 2006. The notices appeared in the Federal Register, available at www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/.
The DEA last raised fees in 2003, despite opposition from the AVMA and other medical organizations. Previously, the DEA increased fees in 1993.
Additional information is available from Mark W. Caverly, Chief, Liaison and Policy Section, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration, Washington, D.C. 20537; phone, (202) 307-7297.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has placed the substance embutramide into schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act, effective Sept. 28. As a result, the regulatory controls and criminal sanctions of schedule III will be applicable to the manufacture, distribution, dispensing, importation, and exportation of embutramide and products containing embutramide.
For further information on the DEA's final rule, contact Christine A. Sannerud, PhD, Chief, Drug and Chemical Evaluation Section, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration, Washington, D.C. 20537, phone (202) 307-7183. More information is also provided online in the Aug. 29 issue of the Federal Register, available at www.gpoaccess.gov/fr.
Veterinary practice owners and office managers should be aware of office supply scams, such as those involving receipt of unsolicited merchandise. This nationwide problem costs businesses, churches, and fraternal and charitable organizations millions of dollars each year, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Any organization that lacks adequate purchasing controls can become a victim of an office supply scam, especially since it often involves the deceptive sale of nondurable or consumable products that are used in the course of business and are purchased on a regular basis. A business or nonprofit may be called by a company misrepresenting its identity and the costs of its office supplies, and then receive a shipment and a demand for payment of overpriced merchandise.
Veterinarians in Illinois, Nebraska, and Florida, for example, have recently reported receiving shipments of unordered latex gloves from a company based in California and invoices for what some say was an outrageous cost, according to the Illinois State VMA. Some optometry practices also reported problems with the company.
The U.S. Postal Service states that it is illegal for a company that sends unordered merchandise to follow the mailing with a bill or dunning communication—a draft drawn on a delinquent customer and deposited with a bank for payment. Businesses that receive statements demanding payment for unordered merchandise should contact their local postmaster or nearest postal inspector.
Businesses and consumers may be sent only two types of merchandise through the mail without their consent or agreement—free samples that are clearly and conspicuously marked as such, and merchandise mailed by a charitable organization that is soliciting contributions.
By law, recipients have no obligation to the sender of unsolicited merchandise, and they may do one of three things: (1) mark the unopened package "Return to Sender" and the Postal Service will return it at no additional postage, (2) discard it, or (3) keep it for free.
The FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection suggests five steps to avoid office supply fraud. Know your rights. Assign designated buyers and document your purchases. Check all documentation before you pay the bills. Train the staff. Report fraud.
Med Life Supply Co. of Culver City, Calif., is the glove company that is the subject of the misconduct reports from veterinarians. The office manager told the AVMA news staff the company has been in business 15 years but that new management has recently "filtered out" disreputable salespersons and floor managers. Braulio Chavez, who has been with Med Life "three or four months," contends that now, a representative contacts businesses to verify that they ordered merchandise before shipping it. As for the questionable cost, he maintains the company sells the "Cadillac or Rolls Royce of gloves." Veterinary practices that were misled can contact Chavez to void an open account or request a notation not to be contacted further at (310) 313-1285, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about office supply scams, order "Avoiding Office Supply Scams" at www.ftc.gov. Complaints can be filed at that site or by mail with the Consumer Response Center, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; phone, toll free, (877) FTC-HELP (382-4357). The commission cannot resolve individual problems for businesses or consumers but can act against a company if there is a pattern of possible law violations.
The Mexican Jay (Aphelocoma ultramarina), also known as the Gray-breasted Jay, is a highly social species of the mountains of central and northern Mexico. It ranges north into the “sky islands” of Arizona, New Mexico, and western Texas. It is resident in pine-oak-juniper woodland and relies on acorns and pinyon nuts to survive the winter.
The breeding Mexican Jay is a large, crestless jay with blue-gray back, blue head, wings, rump and tail, a dark bill and pale gray underparts. The sexes are similar. Juvenile Mexican Jays are grayer and have dark-tipped yellow bills.
This species’ social organization, based on defense of permanent territories by groups of 5 to 25 individuals, is one of the most complex known for birds. Within each territory, 2 to 4 females may breed simultaneously and somewhat monogamously. The young are fed not only by their own parents but also by many other group members, namely other breeders, failed breeders, and some nonbreeders.
The Mexican Jay is strictly nonmigratory and has little or no dispersal from its natal group, probably being more extreme in this respect than any other North American bird. It may live up to 20 years, often in the company of its offspring, parents, siblings, and other relatives on the territory where it was hatched or on an adjacent one.
I photographed this Mexican Jay in Madera Canyon, Arizona in January 2006.
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