Buoy’s Law is a new NY State Law that requires veterinarians to advise owners about potential harmful drug side-effects.

NYSVMS bill expected to delay implementation

Although Buoy’s Law is scheduled to go into effect this summer, draft regulations have not yet been published. Without these regulations there are many unanswered questions about how to comply the new law and how it would be enforced.

NYSVMS are making good progress on a bill that would delay implementation for a year to allow regulations to be finalized. The State budget is running late, so new bill introductions and movement has been slowed.


What we expect for the longer term

We expect the combination of our new legislation and regulation to very significantly impact how Buoy’s law should be implemented. For example our new bill clarifies that side-effect information is to be provided only the first time a drug is prescribed to a companion animal patient, and only when the drug is to be taken outside of the hospital setting. Meanwhile we are consulting with the Board of Veterinary Medicine about regulations required to address many questions raised by our members.


Enforcement of Buoy’s Law in the interim

Unfortunately, there is likely to be a brief period during which it will be unclear how to comply with Buoy’s law or how to enforce it since regulations will not be finalized.

NYSED usually only enforces State Education Laws like Buoy’s law when there is a complaint submitted.

If you carefully advise owners about commonly occurring side-effects that cause significant harm it is far less likely that there would be a complaint. If there is a complaint about an animal that experiences significant harm from commonly occurring side-effects, your defense will be much stronger if you have warned the client in advance.