PVMA Keystone Veterinarian Winter 2020 - 10

"Hurry Up

and Wait"
By Mary Jane McNamee, JD, VMD

Chair of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Committee (LRAC)

Once upon a time, in my previous debt-free life, I
was fortunate enough to travel extensively with my
Paw Paw. This was eons ago, when I was a young
Philadelphia attorney, back when I had three weeks
of paid vacation. What a luxury. The only downside
to all that travel was what Paw Paw and I called the
"hurry up and wait"- wait in line to board, wait
until check in, wait in customs...all slightly irritating
but completely necessary procedures. This is
sort of how the legislative process works, too. As
I write this, there are precious few days left in
Pennsylvania's legislative session before they break
for the Holidays and resume the 2020 calendar. The Legislature
operates on a two-year cycle, 2019-2020. And as always, there
is more potential legislation standing in the wings than time left
in the current session. Typically, the legislature will introduce
thousands of bills, and perhaps a hundred will be signed into
law by the Governor.
As I look though all my notes, I am reminded of how much
PVMA's Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee
accomplished for the veterinary profession in Harrisburg in
2019. At the top of the list has to be that veterinarians are
keeping our exemption from the State's Prescription Drug
Monitoring Program. That means that we will not have to
query the database before dispensing controlled substances
for our patients, nor are we restricted by filing monthly reports
or by prescription limits. Nineteen other states have not been
as fortunate. Thank you again for the part you played in this
accomplishment. Your participation in PVMA's survey
was integral.
10 | Keystone Veterinarian

And we intend to do even better, fulfilling our
commitment to being part of the solution. Currently,
we are taking a look at best practices for dispensing
controlled substances, in particular opioids, and
the veterinary profession continues to be diligent in
fighting this national epidemic. We are also making
sure that our legislators understand how the health
of pets has been impacted by the resulting opioid
shortage, as well as the legal conundrums we face
with CBD products and marijuana's classification
as a Schedule I drug. We have spoken to some law
makers about pursuing legislation that may allow
veterinarians to discuss CBD with our clients without impunity,
but not prescribe. California is the only state in the nation to
have passed such a law to date. Looking forward in 2020, stay
tuned for more clinical studies on the potential benefits of these
alternative pain and seizure reducing drugs.
PVMA also plans to continue its collaborative efforts in
strengthening the State Dog Laws, PA Code Title 3, Chapter
8. Last year, the association successfully supported stricter
tethering and canine outdoor housing requirements. You can
view that bill at bit.ly/patethering. As 2020 begins, we are
putting the same support behind our friends, Senators Killion
and Dinniman and Senate Bill 789. Their legislation further
defines "dangerous dogs" and increases punishment for
harbourers. In short, first bite clemency does not exist for dogs
that cause severe injury through an unprovoked attack.


http://www.bit.ly/patethering

PVMA Keystone Veterinarian Winter 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PVMA Keystone Veterinarian Winter 2020

PVMA Keystone Veterinarian Winter 2020 - 1
PVMA Keystone Veterinarian Winter 2020 - 2
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