A lawsuit filed by a Kansas dog owner calls out Hill’s Pet Nutrition and other major brands for branding food as “prescription” despite not containing “drug or ingredient that requires FDA approval or a prescription under federal […] law,” the Miami Herald reports.
The suit, which was filed in the Johnson County District Court court last month, is brought against Hill’s Pet Nutrition—one of the best-selling brands on the pet food market, but also mentions other big names such as Mars’-owned Royal Canin and Iams, Purina, and online retailer Chewy.com.
The plaintiff Stevie Kucharski-Berger, represented by Michael Kelly, alleges that the mentioned pet-food manufacturers unjustifiably inflate prescription formula prices and create unnecessary demand for products that do not contain prescription-only ingredients.
According to the lawyer, “manufacturers, retailers, and veterinary services — through interconnected ownership — have created the need for a prescription as a marketing tactic.”
“It’s best described as a fake pharmacy, this notion of prescription pet foods, which they haven’t had certified as drugs by the FDA,” Kelly said.
The Miami Herald reminds that this is the second such suit against Hill’s in recent years.
In 2016 a class-action antitrust complaint was filled in Californian federal court against the prescription product lines of Hill’s, Purina, Royal Canin, and Iams.
Chewy.com’s owner PetSmart and Banfield Pet Hospital, which is owned on 90% by Mars, were also defendants in the suit.
A judge dismissed it last July, but the decision is being appealed.
Last month Hill’s recalled multiple types of its canned prescription dog food.