Alaska Senate approves veterinarian bill

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Alaska state Senate approved a bill Monday that seeks to provide exemption for veterinarians from mandatory participation in the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program for their non-human patients.

    The senate majority said that Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs are designed for use in human medicine, not for veterinary medical practice in animals.

    They further add that the program is not effective for use with animal patients, as animals do not have identifiers such as a social security number, and veterinarians must view human owners’ private health data before treating an animal.

    Veterinarians are not trained in nor bound by HIPAA regulations, according to a release. The majority said veterinarians should not be forced to review personal human medical records as required by the drug monitoring program

    “This has been years in the making through a deliberative process which has involved hundreds of stakeholders throughout the medical community,” said Senator Roger Holland, the bill’s sponsor. “It has been unanimously supported by the State Veterinarian Licensing Board and has support from the medical community around the state. This bill improves public safety and makes the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program more efficient and effective.”

    While Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs have been implemented in all 50 states, 34 states have exempted veterinarians from participating in the program.

    Senate Bill 132 adds Alaska to that list.

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