July 31, 2012
Volume X, No. 3
Private Practitioners in Illinois Asked to Help Test Trial Version of Integrated Surveillance System for Infection Diseases
The Center for One Health Illinois at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, is interested in enlisting private practitioners in Illinois to help test a trial version of an integrated surveillance system for infectious diseases. All diagnostic information submitted will be confidential and will be reported in aggregate with no personal identifiers available. The uploading process from your system to the surveillance system should take very little staff time to complete. If your practice uses computerized medical records and you are interested in periodically uploading diagnostic information about a small group of infectious diseases to the surveillance system, please contact J. A. Herrmann, DVM, MPH, DACT at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 217(265-6585). Thank you in advance for your help.
ISVMA Monthly Legislative Report
In an effort to keep ISVMA members more aware of Illinois politics and legislative and regulatory actions that impact their practices, ISVMA publishes a monthly legislative report. Please read the June Legislative Report.
Arthur Dogswell LLC Voluntarily Recalls Catswell Brand Vitakitty Chicken Breast With Flaxseed And Vitamins Because Of Possible Health Risk
FDA - July 27, 2012 - Arthur Dogswell LLC, Los Angeles, CA 90025, is voluntarily recalling 1051 cartons packed as either 10 or 50 packages per case of Catswell Brand VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins because it has the potential to contain propylene glycol. High levels of propylene glycol in the treats could result in serious injury to cats. The adverse health impacts could be reducing red blood cell survival time (anemia) and making the cells more susceptible to oxidative damage.
The VitaKitty treats were distributed nationwide via retail stores and mail order from April 13th through June 14th, 2012.
This product is packaged in a re-sealable 2 ounce orange plastic bag with a clear window. The VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins lot codes affected are as follows: SEW12CH032701/03c and SEW12CH032702/03c with a best before date of 09/10/13 and 09/11/13, respectively (UPC code 8 84244 00057 2). Lot codes can be found on the bottom right backside of the package.
“We are taking this voluntary action because it is in the best interests of our customers and their feline companions,” says Marco Giannini, CEO and Founder. “We will be working with the FDA in our continued commitment to ensure that we meet FDA guidelines.”
The recall resulted from a routine surveillance sample collected by the Company and the Food and Drug Administration. Arthur Dogswell has ceased distribution of the affected product.
Consumers who have purchased VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins from the affected lot codes are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. If the affected product was purchased online, consumers should contact the internet retailer to understand their specific return and refund process. Consumers with questions may contact Arthur Dogswell at 1-888-559-8833 from 8AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday, or leave a message at any time.
Upcoming FTC workshop on Pet Medications - Comments Requested
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is asking veterinarians to weigh in on competition and consumer protection issues in the pet medications industry at an upcoming Federal Trade Commission (FTC) workshop.
The workshop will be a public meeting held in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 2, 2012 (participants can also submit comments ahead of time either in writing or online). The FTC plans to bring together consumers, veterinarians, business representatives, economists, lawyers and academics to consider how industry distribution and other business practices affect consumer choice and price competition for pet medications.
Among the topics discussed will be the ability of consumers to obtain written, portable prescriptions that can be filled wherever they choose.
According to the FTC, the workshop will examine ways to inform and empower consumers by looking at how changes in prescription portability practices in the contact lens industry might serve as an example for the pet medications industry.
The AVMA plans to participate as a panelist in the discussions, but is asking that as many veterinarians weigh in as possible since AVMA comments will only count as one set of responses.
Ashley Morgan, DVM, assistant director of the AVMA’s governmental relations division, said that veterinarians need to speak up on the topic in order to impact the decision-making process.
"Only veterinarians can speak so specifically to how legislation on veterinary prescription writing would impact them, and only veterinarians can explain how and why they make the decisions they do concerning prescription writing," Morgan said. "While the AVMA will be a panelist at the workshop and submit official comments, we cannot speak to the decision-making processes of practitioners or impacts that individual veterinarians would see."
Interested parties who are unable to attend the workshop can submit written comments by Sept. 14, 2012. Comments may be filed electronically, or in paper form.
Morgan said it’s important for veterinarians to weigh in so that the profession is accurately represented.
"This is not the time to avoid speaking up," Morgan said. "The more who submit comments and weigh in, the better represented the profession and the health and welfare of animals will be."
This is a prime opportunity for veterinarians to get more involved in legislative issues, Morgan said.
"I hear over and over from vets, asking what more they can do besides contact their Congressional member, and this is their opportunity," Morgan said. "At the same time, many feel that a few comments to a federal agency won't have an impact, but that's just not the case. We have numerous instances, including issues with the FTC, where we have worked directly with the agency to the benefit of the profession."
The FTC says that in 2011, 62 percent of U.S. households owned a pet, and Americans spent an estimated $50 billion on their pets, including nearly $7 billion for prescription and over-the-counter pet medications.
The workshop comes at a time when the AVMA is actively pursuing defeat of H.R. 1406, the Fairness to Pet Owners Act of 2011. The legislation, which was introduced on April 6, 2011, would impose new stipulations on veterinary prescriptions.
The bill would require a veterinarian to write a prescription regardless of whether he/she will dispense the product, provide a written disclosure notifying clients that they may fill prescriptions at the clinic or at an off-site pharmacy, and verify a prescription electronically or by other means consistent with applicable state law.
The AVMA argues that H.R. 1406 is redundant and will cause "undue regulatory and administrative burdens on veterinary practices."
The AVMA says clients already have the flexibility to fill a prescription at their veterinary clinic or off-site at a pharmacy of their choice. The AVMA says it believes that veterinarians are uniquely trained to provide the best professional guidance and education to pet owners when dispensing prescription products.
The FTC workshop on Oct. 2 will be free and open to the public. No pre-registration is required.
Learn more about the workshop from the FTC.
This is a great opportunity for veterinary medical associations and their members to provide information to federal regulators about their experience with prescription issues and the danger of enacting additional burdensome requirements on veterinary practices. You can find more information about the workshop and the requested comments in this AVMA@Work blog posting: http://atwork.avma.org/2012/07/19/your-chance-to-join-the-pet-meds-discussion/
To File Electronically:
Comments filed in electronic form should be submitted by using the following weblink: https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/petmedsworkshop and following the instructions on the web-based form.
To File in Paper Form:
A comment filed in paper form should include “Pet Medications Workshop, Project No. P12-1201” both in the text and on the envelope, and mail or deliver two copies to the following address:
Federal Trade Commission/Office of the Secretary
Because postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay, please consider submitting your comments in electronic form, as described above. The FTC requests that you send any comment by courier or overnight service, if possible.
ISVMA Membership Renewals Past Due - Please Pay Immediately to Avoid Interruption of Member Services
Please help ISVMA staff track down past due membership renewals. All members that have not renewed have received two mailings and, if they have valid email addresses in our database, have received four reminder emails.
ISVMA staff will soon have to start calling all of the members that have not renewed their dues. It is a very time-consuming and difficult task that can be made much easier if you will either pay your dues online or by fax (217) 546-5633 or contact ISVMA to let us know if you do not intend to renew. We hope that you will renew because ISVMA depends upon the support of its members to provide the quality services, programs and advocacy that are so important to the profession in Illinios. You can contact ISVMA by emailing email@example.com or calling (217) 546-8381. If you need another copy of your invoice, we can fax or email one to you if you call the office to request it.
ISVMA members can now pay their dues online with a VISA or MasterCard. This added convenience is available through the ISVMA Member Center. When you click on the link, you will be asked to login to go to your account. If you have forgotten your username and/or password, click on the reminder link and the information will immediately be delivered to your email address.
Once you have logged in, you will see a link called "Member Renewal" in the floating orange box on the right hand side of your screen. Click on that link to pay your dues.
ISVMA member dues invoices will be mailed on Monday and are due on June 30, 2011. Please pay your dues before the deadline to avoid any interruption in your membership status. When you pay your dues this year, please notice that the invoice form allows you to make additional contributions to the Veterinary Medicine Political Action Committee (VMPAC) and the Illinois Veterinary Medical Foundation (IVMF). I hope that you take advantage of the opportunity to contribute whatever you can afford to these two other organizations that support the activities of ISVMA:
Your support and participation are greatly appreciated. If you know a colleague or associate that is not a member of ISVMA, please encourage them to join now! Some of the benefits of membership are listed on the ISVMA website.
Check and Confirm the Accuracy of Your Practice Listing Using the ISVMA "Find a Veterinarian" Search Tool
Nearly 20,000 people visit the ISVMA website every day. Many of them use the " Find a Veterinarian" search tool to locate a nearby veterinarian.
There are two ways to use the "Find a Veterinarian" search tool:
IMPORTANT: Please take a few minutes to have an ISVMA member from your practice log in to check the listing for your practice. Review the veterinarians and technicians listed for your practice and contact ISVMA if there are any changes. If you have a veterinarian or technician that has left your practice, please let us know where they have relocated. If you have a veterinarian or technician that is in your practice, but not listed, please let us know so that we can update our database. If there are any changes to your practice staffing list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the requested information.
About the Photo
You never know when you will see a bird that is rare or casual in your own neighborhood. Last week, I received a call from a friend of mine who asked if I had, "...seen the Black-bellied Whistling Duck." I responded that I didn't know there was around and asked if it was close. He told me it was about five minutes from my office! After work, I drove by a small retention pond in West Springfield and saw the extralimital duck species mixed in with several Mallards and a Mute Swan.
A striking and gregarious duck of the Neotropics, the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) is generally long-legged, long-necked and the most erect of all ducks. They have a black belly with a chestnut nape, lower neck, chest and back. A chestnut cap tops the head. They boast a bright orange bill, gray face and upper neck and white eye ring. The long pink legs are easily observed while they are perched in trees. They are vociferous in flight, uttering a whistling "pe-che-che."
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