Senate passes bill easing restrictions on veterinarians

The Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would broaden veterinarians' ability to dispense controlled substances.

Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Angus King (I-Maine) introduced S. 1171, which would amend the Controlled Substances Act to allow a veterinarian to transport and dispense controlled substances at a site other than their practice as long as the site of transporting and dispensing is located in a state where the veterinarian is licensed.

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Currently veterinarians who are registered to manufacture or distribute controlled substances are also required to have a separate registration to dispense the medications offsite.

“Mobile veterinarians perform much of their work in irregular and unpredictable locations,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Government Relations. “Mobile spay/neuter and vaccination clinics, disaster responses, and animal cruelty investigations necessitate travel to remote and underserved communities. We thank the Senate for ensuring that mobile veterinarians across the nation can continue to serve their patients wherever animals need care.”

The Senate passed the bill through a unanimous consent agreement before adjourning Wednesday evening. The measure now heads to the House for further consideration.

The Senate also passed by unanimous consent H.R. 667, which would designate the Dryden Flight Research Center as the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center and the Western Aeronautical Test Range as the Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical Test Range. The House passed that bill from Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in February so the legislation now heads to President  Obama’s desk for his signature before becoming law.