One of the most vital and impactful things CVMA does is advocate on behalf of the veterinary profession in Colorado. Without the strength of our 2,000+ members behind us, and without your annual membership dues, we could not effectively work under the golden dome to protect you and your practice. We fight to make sure legislators know how proposed bills can help or hurt your livelihood, veterinary medicine, and animal health and welfare. This is no easy task and no one person alone could hope to achieve what we can accomplish when we come together as a single voice. Make sure your voice continues to be heard. Make sure we can continue to protect your interests. Together, we can protect veterinary medicine in Colorado.
The 2017 legislative session proved once again that the practice of veterinary medicine in Colorado would be vastly different if CVMA didn’t exist to monitor and affect legislation and address public policy issues on behalf of the profession. One single voice can be lost in the din that is the state legislature. Among party politics and special interest groups and scores of lobbyists, it would be impossible for one person, alone, to be heard. But CVMA—representing 2,000+ members—can effectively cut through the noise and make sure your best interests are represented and our opinions and comments are listened to by those who can help us shape legislation that benefits both veterinary practice and animal welfare in Colorado.
This year, CVMA has its hands full with a large number of bills, listed below. Those in bold are discussed further, as these were the ones of most importance and consumed most of our efforts for 2017. For full bill descriptions, actions, and information, see the CVMA Bill Tracker.
S = support O = oppose M = Monitor
HB17-1274 Veterinary Pharmaceutical Compounding Animal Patient
CVMA supported this bill to clarify and update the version passed last year, to better define the limited circumstances under which a veterinarian may use a compounded pharmaceutical drug for the treatment of an animal patient that is a food animal. House Bill 16-1324 allowed a veterinarian to maintain an office stock of compounded drugs, which are drugs that are combined, mixed, or otherwise altered to create a specific drug or formulation, for later distribution or administration to animal patients. The bill defines food animal and sets forth the limited circumstances under which a veterinarian may administer a compounded drug to, or dispense a compounded drug for, a food animal. The bill further clarifies that references to patient set forth in House Bill 16-1324 refer to an animal patient.
HB17-1282 Rural Veterinary Education Loan Repayment Program
CVMA supported this bill to create a veterinary education loan repayment program to assist veterinarians with education loan repayments in exchange for providing veterinary services in rural areas of the state in need of veterinary services. The bill creates the state veterinary education loan repayment council (council), which consists of five directors appointed by the governor. The council administers the veterinary education loan repayment program (program) by use of funds from the veterinary education loan repayment fund (fund), which program and fund are also created in the bill. Through the program, the council provides veterinary education loan repayments from the fund to eligible veterinarians who have graduated from an accredited doctor of veterinary medicine school; currently live in Colorado or, at some point, have lived in Colorado for at least three years; and agree to practice veterinary medicine for up to four years in a rural area of the state that is experiencing a shortage of veterinarians that the council designates for participation in the program. To implement the program, the council enters into a contract with an eligible veterinarian and the rural area of the state in which the veterinarian will practice veterinary medicine.
SB17-135 Remove Medical Release Requirement for Animal Chiropractic
CVMA opposed this new legislation that would have removed the requirement that licensed chiropractors who are registered to perform animal chiropractic obtain a veterinary medical clearance by a licensed veterinarian before performing an act that falls within an animal chiropractor’s scope of practice on an animal patient.
CVMA Legislative Efforts Expand Options for Veterinary Access to Compounded Drugs
After months of preparation and constant presence at the Capitol, CVMA is pleased to announce that House Bill 16-1324 (titled Veterinary Access Compounded Pharmaceutical Drugs) has passed both houses of the Colorado General Assembly. Representative Joann Ginal (D-Fort Collins/House District 52) and Senator Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling/Senate District 1) were the prime sponsors of the bill, and CVMA is immensely grateful for their willingness to address this critical issue. Governor John Hickenlooper signed the bill into law on June 10, and it took effect on August 10, 2016.
Why CVMA Undertook This Action
A recent survey of CVMA members underscored the importance of veterinary access to compounded drugs. Recognizing that patient care was being compromised because of the barriers surrounding compounding medications, CVMA leadership made it a high priority to find a legislative solution that clarifies office use, allows office stock with dispensing in certain situations, and addresses access to compounded controlled drugs.