Does HISA Remedy CHRB, VMB Turf War?

The ongoing stand-off between California's Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) and the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) has amounted to a regulatory turf war over California's backstretch veterinarians. So far, the state's VMB has flexed its primacy, issuing dozens of records requests and, in a number of instances, complaints against vets within this colony. The highest profile such case concerned a settlement last year with CHRB equine medical director, Jeff Blea. In that settlement, the VMB issued Blea a fine of more than $130,000, required him to undergo continuing education classes...

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CHRB Emergency Rule on Compounded Drugs Geared to Shield Veterinarians

In an attempt to help shield California's backstretch veterinary community from possible further punitive actions by the Veterinary Medical Board (VMB), the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) has issued proposed emergency regulations designed to clear up discord between these two agencies about the correct use of compounded medications across California's backstretches. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines the compounding of drugs as "the process of combining, mixing, or altering ingredients to create a medication tailored to the needs of an individual patient. Compounding includes the combining of two or...

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“Horrifically Wrong”: California VMB and Equine Practitioners at Odds

Last month marked the resumption of business as usual for Jeff Blea, back as California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) equine medical director after an eight-month plus enforced hiatus due to the California Veterinary Medical Board's (VMB) controversial step of suspending his license. In a settlement with the medical board, Blea agreed to continuing education classes in record keeping, a remittance to the VMB of $131,464 for the investigation costs, and a three-year probationary period. Those believing the return of Blea to his prior role would bring an end to the...

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Blea Officially Returns As CHRB Equine Medical Director

Jeff Blea formally resumed his duties as California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) equine medical director Wednesday, more than eight months after being sidelined from the post due to a rare and controversial move by the California Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) to have his license temporarily suspended for what transpired to be minor infractions. "What I've been through, I've learned a lot," Blea told the TDN over the weekend. "I need to get back to work for the CHRB because they've been extremely supportive. The horsemen, they've been extremely supportive. They...

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