recently got into a discussion with an old friend about
the wisdom of purchasing his pet’s drugs online.
year I ran into a problem when my dog had a bad reaction
to a heartworm prevention medication I purchased from my
wanted to keep him on his old medication, but my
veterinarian could not provide the product. I thought it
might be necessary to buy it over the Internet or from a
local pharmacy. She was happy to provide the
prescription, but she was concerned about where the
product was sourced no matter where I bought it unless
it was from a licensed vet.
all the horrors I’ve heard about pet food sourced in
China, I shared her concern.
office manager, Sue, (who happens to be my dogs’
favorite human in the world) offered to find the old
medication from another veterinarian and pick it up for
it wasn’t until last week that I gave the prescription
issue another thought.
are the concerns of purchasing drugs from unknown
companies over the Internet? Can you trust a company
that will send you whatever you want, with or without a
prescription? And the final test: Would you give your
child or any loved one medication without knowing if it
U.S. Food and Drug Administration says consumers should
be wary of an online site offering drugs. The agency
finds companies that sell unapproved pet drugs and
counterfeit pet products, make fraudulent claims and
sell expired drugs.
who purchase them may think they are saving money, but
in reality, they may be shortchanging their pet’s
health and putting its life at risk," said
veterinarian Martine Hartogensis, deputy director of the
Office of Surveillance and Compliance in the FDA’s
Center for Veterinary Medicine.
to a consumer report issued by the FDA, a foreign or
domestic pharmacy may claim that a veterinarian on staff
will evaluate the pet after looking over a form filled
out by the owner, then prescribe the drug.
veterinarian should physically examine an animal prior
to making a diagnosis to determine the appropriate
therapy," said Hartogensis.
are concerned that there is no oversight for sales
especially for a heartworm preventative.
you do purchase your pet’s medications online you
should at least find out the following, said Dr.
Jennifer Coates of Colorado on her blog Fully Vetted:
sure the company is based in the United States. U.S.
pharmacies are bound and overseen by local, state and
federal laws and regulatory agencies. Offshore sites
that illegally ship medications into the U.S. aren’t.
Look for the pharmacy’s physical location and a
toll-free or local telephone number on its website.
pharmacies should be licensed by the Board of Pharmacy
for the state in which they reside. Enter the company’s
URL (Internet address) into the LegitScript.com search
box to check its status. Many pharmacies also display
the LegitScript seal of approval, which indicates that
they agree to follow the laws and regulations of their
state Board of Pharmacy, the Drug Enforcement
Administration, and the Food and Drug Administration.
finally, look for the Vet-VIPPS (Veterinary-Verified
Internet Practice Pharmacy Sites) seal and check the
list of Vet-VIPPS pharmacies on AWARERX.ORG. Sites
selling pet medications that have the Vet-VIPPS seal are
in agreement with all federal and state regulations and
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy safety