Most of us enjoy a bargain, which is why we often shop online where discounts can be found on almost everything. In most cases, variations in condition or quality don’t have much impact, but this isn’t the case when it comes to pharmaceuticals. In fact, the FDA issued a consumer update on the risks associated with unregulated online pet pharmacies.
Discount Pet Drugs: What’s the Problem?
When it comes to pet medication suppliers, there’s a vast difference in quality, handling, and adherence to standards. In fact, the online pet pharmaceutical business is largely unregulated, making the chance of receiving counterfeit or damaged drugs a real risk.
In fact, many discount drug companies have been found guilty of mishandling drugs, not providing proper storage (which can make drugs ineffective or unsafe), delivering the wrong medications, and selling counterfeits or placebos.
Since some of these drugs are acquired from outside the United States, there is very little quality control that takes place, allowing them to be sold uninspected. In some cases, online pharmacies even offer a diagnosis without seeing the pet or having the training to provide such medical opinions or prescriptions.
These issues have caused (preventable) veterinary emergencies and have placed thousands of pets at risk from drug contradictions, inappropriate or dangerous prescriptions, and a lack of professional veterinary oversight.
Safer Online Options: Affordable, Convenient, AND Professional
The good news is that there are several options for affordable pet medications through your veterinarian. There are also several advantages to foregoing unregulated online pharmacies in favor of working with your pet’s clinic. Some of these include:
Accurate diagnosis and safe prescriptions – Before your pet is given any drug, he or she should be seen by a veterinarian and given a diagnosis and treatment plan. This includes assessing your pet for medications that are best suited to his or her overall health, as well as the condition being treated.
Medication record keeping – Medical records are critical to keeping your pet healthy and avoiding any problems in the administration of medications. At Volunteer Veterinary Hospital, your pet’s medical records are kept accurate, up-to-date, and are available to you through our Pet Portal.
Veterinary supported online pharmacy – It’s understandable to want the convenience of online refills and home delivery. For your peace of mind, a veterinary supported online pharmacy, such as our VetSource online pharmacy, guarantees the same level of prescription quality and accuracy as an on-site pharmacy.
In-house pharmacy – Typically, you can purchase your pet’s initial prescription at your veterinary clinic. This not only allows your pet to start treatment immediately, it also gives you time to ask questions, get instructions, and learn about any potential side effects.
At Voluntary Veterinary Hospital, we understand that sourcing the highest quality medications at affordable prices is important to pet owner clients, and we do our best to give you several options in price range and delivery.
It’s our priority to protect pets from potentially harmful drugs. Please contact us with your pet medication questions.