This true story actually happened this week to my friend Helen. I thought it interesting (and somewhat amusing) and wanted to share it with all of you. The point of this article is to encourage cat parents (and cat grandparents) to know the birthdate of a cat on file with the veterinarian when picking up its Rx (prescription medication) at a U.S. pharmacy. Your veterinarian should have this on file in case you don’t remember.
The following conversation took place at a Target pharmacy in Minnesota when Helen arrived to pick up a prescription for her “grandson cat” Kevin. I’m not sure about other states, but in Minnesota, this is the law.
“So after work I went to Target to pick up a prescription for my daughter’s cat.”
The pharmacy clerk: “Date of birth?”
Me: “It’s for a cat.”
Clerk: “I still need date of birth.”
Me: “I don’t know what the vet said when they called the prescription in. It’s a rescue cat.”
Clerk: “You still have to tell me date of birth.”
Me: “I’m going to guess he’s about 8 years old.”
Me: “Can I just have the prescription?”
“OMG if this hadn’t actually happened to me, I would never have believed something this stupid.”
While many cats receive their prescription medication straight from their veterinarian, a lot of cat owners find it cheaper to use a local pharmacy, especially when their cat is on medication for a long period of time.
Helen eventually obtained the prescription for Kevin, but not before being chastised. The veterinarian wasn’t contacted for verification, but the situation almost escalated to that point.
One of the reasons behind a birthdate being required (for both humans and animals) is because there are more people going outside of the vet’s office for Rx’s. Also, more animals are being prescribed painkillers, antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds and other controlled substances. Controlled substances have state and federal laws to comply with which directly means each patient has to be identified with dates of birth and gender and addresses.
If you don’t have the birthday on file for your cat, check with your vet because it should be part of the permanent record. It’s critical these days to know this!
It may even be necessary to use an online app such as Google Docs to list any information on your cats so it can be retrieved from a cell phone, especially if you have multiple pets. You can also present this direct to the pharmacy on your phone.
Please share this information with friends. A lot of cat owners don’t realize how much government red tape we’re required to muddle through to get what we need for a sick pet. Even if you’re a cat, the government can still control whether or not you can purchase your prescription medication.