Ward & Smith, Professional Association, is a lead firm in the class action lawsuit claiming prescription pet food is a “price-fixing conspiracy.” Prescription formulas may retail for 40 percent more than non-prescription premium blends developed to address the same health issues. Because prescription pet food contains no drugs and only formulas available in other non-prescription products, and it is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, attorney Trip Coyne alleges the pet food companies have “improperly co-opted the term ‘prescription.’” Defendants include the manufacturers of Hill’s Prescription Diet, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets, Royal Canin Veterinary Diet, and Iams Veterinary Formula; retailer PetSmart; and veterinarian chains Banfield Pet Hospital and BluePearl Vet. Mars Petcare owns the two latter brands and is a majority owner of both veterinary chains. Plaintiffs argue the vertical integration of the industry masks the markup scheme. Defendants argue the supply line constitutes only a small percentage of the prescription pet food industry and administering the formulas to pets without veterinary consultation could put them at-risk.