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Schumer, Blumenthal Launch Dogged Pursuit Of Cheaper Pet Meds

Sens. Charles Schumer, second from left, and Richard Blumenthal, second from right, call for a law requiring vets to provide prescriptions for pet medications July 20, 2014. (Credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

Sens. Charles Schumer, second from left, and Richard Blumenthal, second from right, call for a law requiring vets to provide prescriptions for pet medications July 20, 2014. (Credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Sens. Charles Schumer and Richard Blumenthal announced their new pet project Sunday: legislation aimed at driving down the cost of prescription medications for pets.

At a news conference in Greenwich Village, Schumer, D-N.Y., said pet owners are paying a 240 percent markup when they buy drugs from their veterinarian, 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern reported.

Schumer and Blumenthal, D-Conn, are sponsoring a bill that would require vets to give customers a prescription so they can shop competitively.

Schumer, Blumenthal Launch Dogged Pursuit Of Cheaper Pet Meds

schu2 Schumer, Blumenthal Launch Dogged Pursuit Of Cheaper Pet Meds
Roger Stern reports

“Pet owners would do almost anything to care for their furry or feathered family members,” Schumer said. “But it can often break the bank.”

Schumer said a similar law for optometrists brought down the cost of contact lenses.

“Consumers will be unleashed and liberated from their vets by this bill, which will simply automatically give them a piece of paper that they can take to a pharmacy, to an online supplier and seek better prices,” Blumenthal said.

At the Washington Square dog run, pet owners said they think animal prescriptions are a good idea.

“Your vet tells you this is what your dog needs, and you do it because you love your dog and you want them to get what they need,” one woman told Stern. “But you don’t really have a lot of options beyond that.”

Aaron, also at the dog run, agreed.

“It’s almost like a monopoly for them (vets),” he said. “They have you stuck.”

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