FTC Announces Public Workshop on Competition and Consumer Protection Issues in Pet Medication Industry

The Federal Trade Commission announced that it will host a one-day public workshop on October 2, 2012, to examine competition and consumer protection issues in the pet medications industry.

According to the announcement, the workshop will bring together consumers, veterinarians, business representatives, economists, lawyers, academics, and other interested parties to consider how current industry distribution and other business practices affect consumer choice and price competition for pet medications; the ability of consumers to obtain written, portable prescriptions that they can fill wherever they choose; and the ability of consumers to verify the safety and efficacy of pet medications that they purchase. The workshop will examine ways to inform and empower consumers to obtain the highest quality and most cost-effective healthcare products for their pets. The workshop will also examine the extent to which recent changes to restricted distribution and prescription portability practices in the contact lens industry might yield lessons applicable to the pet medications industry. The workshop will be free and open to the public.

When the FTC announces a workshop, it typically portends the enactment of new regulations or enforcement in an area. As such, those in the marketing of pet medications should pay careful attention to the workshop. Also, if there is a message that such marketers want the government to hear, it makes sense to consider applying to present.

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