The Trouble with Internet Pharmacies

The arrival of Internet pharmacies has raised questions concerning the rights and responsibilities of prescription writing. The right falls on you, our clients. However, the responsibility falls on us…the veterinarian.

Requesting a prescription involving veterinary licensure and the dispensing of prescription veterinary drugs are not aimed at protecting the veterinarians, but rather the public from misuse, over use, inappropriate use and other quackery. We are happy to provide written prescriptions in all cases where legal requirements and hospital policies have been satisfied. A current and valid veterinary – client – patient relationship must exist. For your pets health necessary diagnostic and safety procedures need to be current. This may include, but is not limited to: current physical examination, diagnostic testing (i.e.: chemistries, cbc, electrolytes, urinalysis, monitoring the effects of drug therapy on different organ systems, radiographs) consultations with client and veterinarian. Drug therapy, when medically indicated, should be initiated by the attending veterinarian. It is up to the veterinarians’ discretion (not the pharmacy) to determine the medical criteria where a drug is indicated. For example: a dog must have a negative heartworm test prior to receiving a prescription for heartworm preventative.

As a consumer you need to be aware of some issues regarding buying your pet’s prescriptions online. There are some major differences between buying medications from a licensed veterinarian vs. the online companies.

A) Our products are purchased direct from the manufacturer. As a result the products are 100% guaranteed. Online companies do NOT purchase from the manufacturer. They receive their product from unknown sources, in some cases second and third party dealers. The manufacturers will not honor any warranty on products purchased in this manner.
B) All purchases made at our clinic are 100% guaranteed. If you purchase a medication from us and it expires before you can use it, we will exchange it for current dated product. If we prescribe a medication and your pet can’t tolerate the drug we will exchange it for something else.
C) There are no hidden shipping and handling fees.
D) We are registered with the state board of pharmacy and have a license to sell these medications. Does the Internet company you are dealing with?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please contact our office and we would be more than happy to answer your questions.