23 May 2013
May 23, 2013
- While many online pharmacies are legitimate, there are many that sell counterfeit products, expired drugs and "generics" that have been formulated without any quality control.
- Stay away from "pharmacies" that sell drugs with "no prescription required". Federal law requires a written prescription from a licensed veterinarian for many drugs.
- Federal law also requires that an animal be seen by a veterinarian within a year in order for a written prescription to be obtained.
- Many of our veterinary distributors do not sell directly to online sources. Because of that, most manufacturers will not guarantee a product that has been purchased from an online source.
- It is dangerous to purchase drugs through an online catalog without veterinary input. Many drugs, especially non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, require periodic bloodwork to monitor effects on liver and kidneys.
- Veterinarians can help clients to make informed decisions about changing drug doses-online pharmacies cannot.
- Use only licensed pharmacies with a pharmacist or veterinarian on staff.
- Use an online source that is a Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site, one that voluntarily meets criteria such as federal and state licensing, protects patient confidentiality, and has routine inspections of their warehouses.
- Make sure the pharmacy is based in the U.S. and has a phone number and/or address that you can use in case you have an issue and need to contact them.
- What we recommend is to be AWARE:
- A-Always check for site accreditation http://www.nabp.net/consumers/board-of-pharmacy-contacts
- W-Watch for Red Flags (see above)
- A-Ask your veterinarian
- R-Report problems http://www.fda.gov/Safety/ReportaProblem/ucm055305.htm
- E-Educate Yourself about online sources http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/default.htm