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Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Are Online Pet Pharmacy Discounts Worth It?
"Discount Veterinary Medications!" "Get Your Pet's Medication for Less!" "Common Pet Medications - No Prescription Required!"
How many times do you see such advertising in your email inbox or on website banner ads? They sound very tempting, don't they? It seems as though online pet pharmacies are cropping up everywhere. However, not all of them are helping your veterinarian provide the best care for your cat.
According to a recent article posted on the Federal Drug Administration's Consumer Health Information web page, there are some online pet pharmacies that are unscrupulous at best. According to the article, "[The] FDA has found companies that sell unapproved pet drugs and counterfeit pet products, make fraudulent claims, dispense prescription drugs without requiring a prescription, and sell expired drugs." So pet owners who think they are saving money may be putting their pet's health at risk.
That doesn't mean all online pharmacies are scams. There are reputable, legitimate pharmacies out there that can save you money.
So what are some of the warning signs? Be cautious of any pharmacy that is willing to sell prescription medication without a requiring a prescription from a license veterinarian. If they don't require a prescription, their drugs may not be FDA approved. You have no guarantee of what you are really giving your cat. Some of these pharmacies claim to have on staff veterinarians who can do a long distance evaluation of your cat using information you provide on a form. Using this they then "prescribe" medication. While we know that many of our clients are very intuitive and aware of their cats' behaviors, a physical exam by a veterinarian along with possible additional tests such as bloodwork are required to accurately diagnose a health condition. In addition, just as with human pharmaceutical treatments, follow up progress exams and monitoring by your cat's doctor are essential. If your veterinarian has not prescribed a medication, you should not be giving it to your cat.
Although we are all more than aware of the current economy and the need to be financially savvy, there are some things that just should not be skimped on. Your cat's health care, including medication, is one of them. Remember that old adage, "you get what you pay for".
The Scottsdale Cat Clinic partners with VetStoreRx to provide a safe, reputable option as an online pharmacy. VetStoreRx offers all the convenience of an online pharmacy, including home delivery of food and other products. Check out our website for more information about VetStoreRx.
For more information on how to pick a good online pharmacy, visit these sites: American Veterinary Medical Association Internet Pharmacy FAQ FDA Consumer Health Information Web Page