2016 Legislative Review

by Dr. James B. Reed, MDVMA Legislative Committee Chair

The Maryland Veterinary Medical Association had a very successful year with its representation and interaction during the Maryland legislative session. The addition of Hannah Garagiola and Moira Moynihan as lobbyists from the law offices of Alexander & Cleaver gave us the firepower to have a larger impact in both the House of Delegates and the Senate. The organized and confident ability to work through the myriad of activity involved in developing and monitoring legislative issues has proven invaluable.

The board and committee members remain excited about our experiences, accomplishments and ability to be proactive in future challenges.

The following legislative review provided by Hannah and Moira is an excellent summary of our session. Please feel free to comment on any issues that may be of concern by email to the MDVMA offices. Thank you for supporting the MDVMA legislative efforts.

Legislative Wrap-up from Moira Moynihan, Alexander & Cleaver LLP

Alexander & Cleaver (A&C) was proud to represent the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association (MDVMA) for the 2016 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session. Our first session working together, we introduced and passed SB 614/HB 1462, legislation that will make it easier for veterinarians to customize and dispense appropriate medications to quickly treat their patients. This legislation makes Maryland the 10th state in the nation that permits licensed veterinarians to administer and dispense compounded products. Together, we monitored and engaged on more than 20 pieces of legislation, and below is a summary of our work this session.

SB 614/HB 1462 – Veterinarians, Pharmacies, and Pharmacists – Dispensing Compounded Preparations for Use by Nonfarm Animals

Before the start of session, the A&C team secured Senator Joan Carter Conway, the Chair of the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs committee to sponsor the bill in the Senate and Delegate Eric Bromwell to introduce the bill in the House. Our strategy was to partner with influential committee members to ensure our bill would pass out of their respective committees in a favorable posture, leading to full passage.

We had a great bill hearing in the Senate, with Doctors Reed and Streett, and Moira Moynihan presenting on behalf of MDVMA. Our bill sponsor and chair of the committee explained to the committee the purpose of the bill and stressed that she expected it to pass. After the Senate hearing, an organization opposed to our bill, Animal Health International (AHI), hired a lobbying firm to try and defeat our bill. Dr. Reed and Hannah Garagiola had several meetings with AHI and their representatives, and their tough negotiations ensured MDVMA was able to get a win and pass a strong bill.

The legislation that passed permits licensed veterinarians to dispense compounded nonsterile preparations or compounded sterile preparations to domestic pets, or “nonfarm animals.” A pharmacy, and a licensed pharmacist, may provide compounded nonsterile preparations or compounded sterile preparations without a patient-specific prescription to a licensed veterinarian who intends to use the preparations for treatment of patients. The bill also requires veterinarians to dispense compounded medications in a maximum of a seven-day supply, in bottles that do not belong to the original manufacturer and are clearly labeled with type of animal, drug, dosage, manufacturer information and the owner’s last name.

Over the interim, we look forward to developing a legislative agenda with MDVMA for next session, and to attending their annual conference in Ocean City, MD to provide an update on our work to the board of directors. It has been a pleasure to work with MDVMA and we look forward to continued partnership in the future.