Alaska Senate Passes Bill Exempting Veterinarians from Controlled Substance Database

The Alaska Senate today unanimously passed Senate Bill 132, which provides needed exemption for veterinarians from mandatory participation in the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program for their non-human patients.

“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, R-Anchorage, 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.”

Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs are designed for use in human medicine, not for veterinary medical practice in animals. The PDMP 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. Additionally, veterinarians are not trained in nor bound by HIPAA regulations, and veterinarians should not be forced to review personal human medical records as required by the PDMP program.

While PDMPs 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.

Senate Bill 132 passed the Senate by a vote of 16-0 and is now on its way to the Alaska House of Representatives for consideration. For more information, please contact the Senate Majority Press office at (907) 465-4066.