With the growing popularity of online shopping we feel the need to address some frequently asked questions about the safety and dependability of internet pharmacies.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released an article to raise alertness about illegal online pet pharmacies and we encourage you to read and it and Be Online Pet Pharmacy AWARE:
A– Ask your veterinarian
W-Watch for red flags
A-Always check for site accreditation
R-Report problems and suspicious online pet pharmacies
E-Educate yourself about online pet pharmacies
Q: Are medications obtained by internet pharmacies such as Pet Meds safe?
A: We do not know this for sure. Most of our manufacturers, like Merial, Elanco, Merck and Pfizer (the makers of our top heartworm, flea and tick preventative products), stand by the fact that they do not sell their products to these internet pharmacies. Where they are obtaining these medications is not known for sure.
Q: Why can’t I get a prescription from just any veterinarian?
A: It is both illegal and unethical for a veterinarian to authorize a prescription without a valid “veterinarian-client-patient relationship.” This is the same reasoning that you couldn’t walk into a doctor’s office you’ve never been to and ask for a prescription for yourself.
Q: Internet pharmacies sound like a good deal. But some people are against buying from them. Why?
A: Because the drug companies are not selling to these pharmacies directly you should be concerned about where they are acquiring their medications, whether they are expired products, how they are being stored, contaminants and that you are receiving the proper dosages for your pet’s needs. A number of problems have been reported, such as sales of pet medications without valid prescriptions. These drugs could pose a health threat to pets, and we are concerned about the welfare of these animals.
Q: Well then, how can I find an Internet pharmacy that’s credible?
A: We haven’t found a fool-proof way to assure a “good” pharmacy. The only internet pharmacy that we have found that has the same values of keeping your pet healthy that we do here at Burnet Road Animal Hospital is called VetSource.