U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Richard Blumenthal want to make sure pet owners don't break the bank when it comes to their keeping their furry friends healthy.
The senators announced Sunday they will introduce legislation that would require veterinarians to write prescriptions for pets. Schumer said because owners aren't allowed to shop around for those medications, they are forced to buy them straight from the vet at markups as high as 240%.
"Pet owners will do almost anything to care for their fury or feathered members but it often breaks the bank," Schumer said at a news conference outside the dog park in Washington Square Park.
Current New York laws allow for vets to provide copies of prescriptions only when asked by the pet owners, according to the senator. If the city's pet owners used the prescriptions to buy the medications from pharmacies and online retailers, Schumer said they would save $63 million annually.
The senator said he has the support of ASPCA and other senate colleagues. Representatives for the American Veterinary Medical Association didn't respond to messages for comment.
Schumer noted that a similar bill passed in 2004 that mandated optometrists to give prescriptions to patients for contact lenses saved consumers millions.
"We all know pets are our family and just like we do anything for our kids, we do anything for our pets," the senator said.