Caveat emptor! The Do’s and Don’ts of On Line Pharmacies

We posted about this in 2013, but it has become prevalent again, so we updated and revised our post to give you current information.

On-line pharmacies. You have read a lot about them lately and there is a constant question of who to rely on and who is not what they seem. We get a lot of questions regarding on-line pharmacies for discounted or cheaper heartworm prevention and medications. Many people think the only reason we don’t endorse online pharmacies such as 1-800 PetMeds or Dr. Fosters & Smith is for financial reasons. But in fact, quality control issue.

Manufacturers such as Virbac, Elanco and Pfizer DO NOT sell directly to these sites. So where do these sites get their medications? Best case scenario, it comes from a veterinary practice over ordering product for their facility and turning around and selling the product to the Internet companies for a small profit (which actually is a big no-no with the manufacturers). Worst case scenario, the medications may actually be repackaged expired drugs or medications purchased from another country (so they may not be FDA compliant). While your box may look like a normal box of Trifexis or Sentinel, buyer beware.

Another reason we don’t endorse these sites, the guarantee for the product is not actually the manufacturer’s guarantee. It comes from the website. The reason the guarantee sounds so good, since we aren’t sure where the product comes from, they better give some kind of guarantee!

Heartworm treatments can run up to $1500, many on-line sites have monetary caps on what they will reimburse. Besides a monetary cap, they have strict guidelines some of which are if the product hasn’t been purchased from them in the last 9 months of use, there is no guarantee. So if you purchased 6 months from your vet and 6 months on-line, the guarantee from neither the manufacturer nor on-line source would be valid!

Many veterinary practices are now offering their own online pharmacies. These pharmacies are a direct source to the manufacturers and are usually VIPPS certified. The products purchased from AUTHORIZED pharmacies carry all manufacturer guarantees. By using these sources, you can save money without sacrificing quality.

Visit our on-line pharmacy at www.glencarbonhawthorne.com.  Click on the orange box to visit our on-line store and view your pet’s medical records. 

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