Online Pharmacies

posted: by: Animal Health Associates Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Online Pharmacies:

Are You Putting Your Pet At Risk?

Are you putting your pet at risk without even realizing it?  Every day pet owners go online to purchase prescription medications for their pets.  After all, we order everything from clothing to food online, why wouldn’t you look for your pet’s medications there as well?  But just as counterfeit goods run rampant for other products, the medications you order for your pet can be fake as well.  It’s no different than the Coach purses you find on street corners.  You know they’re fake, but most people don’t realize that same trick is prevalent with medications as well.  

The difference is counterfeit drugs can be far more dangerous than a fake purse.  The medication you order for your pet may be contaminated, lack the active ingredient, or even be poisonous.  

The safest way to ensure your pet is getting the medication he or she needs is to purchase the product from a reputable source such as your veterinarian or a pharmacy that they recommend.  In fact, having your veterinarian involved is not only the safest method for your pet but the only legal way to purchase prescription medications.  Beware of online pharmacies that say you get a medication without your veterinarian’s approval.  Instead when shopping online be A.W.A.R.E.

A – Ask Your Veterinarian

Before making a purchase online talk to your veterinarian.  They can let you know if the medication is the correct choice for your pet and discuss any potential risks.  Plus, some medications such as NSAIDs require routine bloodwork, your veterinarian can let you know if this will be necessary for your pet.

W - Watch for Red Flags

Websites that claim prescriptions can be provided without a veterinarian’s approval are a big red flag.  It is against the law to do so.  Also watch for pharmacies not based in the United States, or ones that don’t list a business address at all.  

A - Always Check for Accreditation
Good online pharmacies are often accredited with the voluntary program Vet-VIPPS.  These pharmacies undergo yearly reviews and are a licensed pharmacy.  

R - Report Problems and Suspicious Online Pet Pharmacies

If your pet has any issues from a medication you purchased online including reactions or if you think the medication is not effective and could be counterfeit, report it to the manufacturer.  

E - Educate Yourself About Online Pharmacies

The best way to protect your pet is through education.  Do your homework and be A.W.A.R.E. before you purchase medications online.  And when in doubt ask your veterinarian, they have your pet’s best interests in mind!

Remember, your veterinarian knows your pet’s medical history and can determine which medications are the right choice.  Websites promising great savings can actually be putting your pet’s health and even life at risk.  With 62% of medications purchased online being fake or substandard it’s important to be A.W.A.R.E. and work with your veterinarian to make the right decision for your pet.