Online shopping is quick, convenient, and often a good bargain. But is it a safe avenue for buying your pet’s prescriptions? Many illegal and untrustworthy pharmacies are out there, putting your pet’s health at risk.
Online pharmacies don’t always provide the best price. Check with your veterinarian on coupons and rebates they may offer. Your veterinarian can also explain manufacturer guarantees, which are often only upheld when products are purchased through a veterinarian. The source, storage and shipping of medications may impact effectiveness, so all drugs should be stored and shipped appropriately. Many veterinary clinics do work closely with respectable online pharmacies if this is a convenience you want to pursue.
The FDA’s “be A.W.A.R.E.” campaign educates pet owners on the safety of internet pharmacies:
Always ask your veterinarian before purchasing medication online. They know your pet’s health history and the safest route for obtaining medications to keep them healthy.
Watch for red flags. Internet pharmacies should always list their physical address, phone number, and individuals to contact with questions. They should require a prescription from your veterinarian. If they don’t, they are violating FDA laws.
Always check that they are accredited by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).
Report problems to the FDA, including adverse drug reactions and product defects.
Education makes empowered consumers. Talk to your veterinarian about your pets’ health, keeping them healthy and avoiding illegal online pharmacies. Or call Valley Verde Veterinarians for an appointment at 520-393-7387.