Safety of On-Line Pharmacies

Jan 23, 2018

In today’s age, we are all trying to find the best value for our money. Online pharmacies for veterinary products have become increasingly popular with the appeal of special deals, discounted drugs or even medications without prescriptions. It is so easy to hop online and order medications like heartworm preventatives or other prescribed drugs for our pets, but it is important to take into the considerations the potential risks of this. If something seems too good to be true there’s a pretty good chance that it is.

Some things that many don’t take into consideration is how these medications or foods are handled. Just because it is the same product does not mean that it is cared for properly. When using an online pharmacy there is no way to know if a drug is staying at correct temperatures or humidity for efficacy, which could lead to prescriptions being ineffective or damaged. This could lead to important drugs like heartworm prevention not working as they should.

Many online pharmacies are reputable, but it is very important to make sure this is the case. It’s hard to believe that there could be pharmacies selling medications that are outdated, mislabeled or incorrectly formulated but this unfortunately can happen. Sometimes the medications may not contain the actual drug or may contain incorrect amounts of drug. Some red flags for online pharmacies are 1. There is no licensed pharmacist available to answer questions, 2. They do not require a prescription. This is absolutely illegal and should definitely make you question the validity of the medication you are receiving. Use caution if a pharmacy price is significantly lower than your veterinarians or the medication looks different than what you are used to giving.

Another often overlooked benefit of getting medication directly from your veterinarian is many of the guarantees provided from the manufacturer. For example, different preventative care companies provide payment for treatment if your pet were to get certain diseases while taking their medication, but this only is guaranteed with documentation of purchase from your vet. Many food companies provide money back guarantees if your pet doesn’t like the food purchased from your vet. Some manufacturers of flea prevention provide no cost environmental treatment if fleas are still present after a few months of treatment. These are benefits to purchasing your medications from a known source such as your veterinarian.

There are still more convenient ways to get your pet’s medications if you prefer the ease of ordering online. Many veterinary practices now work together with specific online pharmacies that they have deemed safe to allow you to order your pet’s medication and food online and have it shipped conveniently to your home. Many of these pharmacies offer auto ship or other discount services. We can help you to make sure you are making the best choice for your pet, and if you have questions about medications ask your veterinarian.

Andrea Gilstrap, DVM