September 6 , 2012
Volume X, No. 5
ISVMA 130th Annual Convention Registration
The 130th ISVMA Annual Convention will be held at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center Hotel in Lombard, IL on November 2-4, 2012. A copy of the program and registration brochure can be downloaded from this website. Online registration is also now available for this meeting. Please plan to join us in Lombard for another outstanding convention!
*Please note: The ISVMA Annual Meeting will take place during the Friday luncheon on November 2, 2012.
H.R. 1406 Update - Take Action to Submit Public Commentary to the FTC Before September 14
While H.R. 1406, the Fairness to Pet Owners Act, which would mandate prescription writing, remains quiet in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health with only five cosponsors, the AVMA is focusing efforts on educating the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC will be hosting a public workshop October 2, in Washington, DC, to examine competition and consumer protection issues in the pet medications industry. For more information in the issue, listen to this short podcast with FTC staff. The workshop is free and open to the public.
Additionally, the FTC has posed questions in the Federal Register to which they are seeking input from the public. Comments are due by September 14 and can be submitted electronically or via postal mail; however, electronic submissions are encouraged due to the delay in delivery of postal mail.
Throughout this public comment period, veterinarians have the opportunity to provide feedback to the FTC. There are numerous examples of the veterinary profession making an impact after expressing our perspectives and concerns to the Executive Branch. Now is another time when policy-makers need to hear from the profession.
For more information please contact Dr. Ashley Morgan, assistant director, AVMA Governmental Relations Division.
ISVMA has received a few telephone calls regarding limitations on the amount of Phenylpropanolamine. The following two articles are very instructive of the regulation of PPA and the background on how the federal government has been constantly adapting regulations to keep up with the creativity of methamphetamine traffickers. The first file included mandatory training for retailers that sell PPA.
State-Federal Serology Laboratory located in Springfield Closing Effective Friday, September 14, 2012
The Illinois Department of Agriculture State-Federal Serology Laboratory in Springfield, IL will close on Friday, September 14, 2012. Submissions will not be accepted at Springfield after Monday, September 10, 2012. The Illinois Department of Agriculture has expressed regret for any inconvenience this may cause to those who utilize their services.
Centralia Animal Disease Laboratory Closed August 31, 2012
Governor Pat Quinn stood firm on his plan to close the Animal Disease Laboratory in Centralia, IL and transfer all testing to the facility in Galesburg, IL. Despite a substantial lobby effort from Southern Illinois farmers, veterinarians and other citizens failed to convince the Governor to reverse his decision to close the lab.
World Rabies Day, Sept. 28, 2012
Communities across the globe will celebrate World Rabies Day, an annual event supported by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Alliance for Rabies Control and many others. The event will increase knowledge of the disease and raise awareness that rabies, while responsible for killing more than 55,000 people each year, is preventable. For more information, go to www.worldrabiesday.org or contact David Kirkpatrick at 847-285-6782 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Breath of Fresh Air
(Courtesy AVMA) - A horse is a horse, of course, of course. But did you know that the horse might also be a key ally when it comes to helping fight asthma in humans? Both horses and humans may benefit from the research being conducted by Dr. Virginia Buechner-Maxwell, a veterinary professor at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. Buechner-Maxwell’s research focuses on equine breathing disorders and human asthma, both of which are triggered by many of the same things, such as pollen, dust, exercise or weather. Horses, Buechner-Maxwell explains, are “superb models for studying airway diseases because they develop these illnesses spontaneously like humans.” For more information, contact Michael Sutphin at 540-231-6716 or email@example.com.
Veterinarian Cooperative to Provide Increased Profitability to Independent Clinics
The Veterinary Cooperative (TVC) will begin taking membership applications September 4th, announces TVC’s Chief Executive Officer Richard A. Morris. Dr. Don Holst, DVM, owner of Arlington Park Veterinary Hospital in Rolling Meadows, Illinois and Morris have been working for nearly two years on a way to help independent veterinarians become more competitive.
“Recent trends in the industry—including the entry of Wal-Mart selling prescriptions for pets, and the potential of the Fairness to Pet Owners Act—threaten the ability of independent veterinarians to compete fairly. Veterinarians need to be sure they can obtain everything at the same cost as their competitors,” says Holst.
“If you are a small vet clinic, you need a program like TVC to survive: You don’t have the sales volume, skills, staff, or time to negotiate on your own,” explains TVC board member Scott Carlin, who owns APC Veterinary Clinic in Tulsa, OK. “I’ve been killing myself for years trying to figure out how competitive clinics have been able to promote retail prices that are BELOW our cost. We can’t match them. But now that I see the pricing that TVC can get for our clinic, I’m incredibly relieved to finally know how I can both match their pricing and make a solid profit.”
“You name an industry, there’s a cooperative in it,” says Adam Schwartz, founder and principal of TheCooperativeWay. “Hardware stores, grocers, insurers, and automotive parts distributors have developed co-ops so they can stay independent, yet get the pricing of their big box or large corporate competitors.”
“Better veterinary pricing will be an important objective of TVC, but it will not stop there,” adds Morris. “There is more money to be made for an independent veterinarian by sharing best practices in operations, marketing, and patient care. Each veterinary practice will still make its own independent decisions, but armed with better tools and information. For example, TVC will conduct market research and provide its members better information as to market prices from providers such as Banfield, VCA, and 1-800-PetMeds. Having more accurate market information will help each member make its own decisions on where to price its products,” said Morris.“TVC will also develop tools that members can use to improve their pricing decisions that will automatically update their practice management systems.”
Amir Shanan DVM, owner of Compassionate Veterinary Care in Chicago Il. and board member of TVC, notes, “I cannot wait to be the beneficiary of a veterinary cooperative. When we pay higher prices and pass them on, it makes us look like we are gouging our clients. We really need the competitive pricing TVC will help us get from suppliers.”
Morris believes based on his research, the coop can grow to at least 5,000 members within the next five years. “And when it does, it will be a powerful force in the market, with more buying power and locations than many of the big-box stores.”
About the Photo
The Purple Gallinule (Porphyrula martinica) is a brightly colored marsh bird that is about the size of a chicken. It has blue and green feathers, long yellow legs, very long toes and a red bill with a yellow tip.
The Purple Gallinule can be found in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, and Oklahoma. It winters on the Gulf Coast. It is also found in Central and South America and the West Indies. It is an uncommon visitor to Illinois.
The Purple Gallinule lives in freshwater marshes with aquatic vegetation like lily pads and pickerelweed. It eats a wide variety of foods including frogs, grasshoppers, dragonflies, spiders and water plants. This beautiful and unusual looking species is not a very good flyer, but it is an excellent wader. It uses its long toes to distribute its weight, and it can even walk on lily pads.
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