Note: FDA regulations require a valid client-patient-doctor relationship which, in simple terms, means we have to have seen the patient within the previous 12 months. If your pet hasn’t been seen by us within the last year, we will likely need to see them in the office for an exam to continue prescribing medications.
With rising costs, people are trying to save money and internet pharmacies are an option. For this reason, we price our parasite prevention products competitively with the major online pharmacies when you include the free doses or rebates we offer. Please understand that it is not our intent to discourage you from purchasing your medications elsewhere, as everyone has to do what is right for themselves. Finally, as your veterinarian, we feel obligated to share concerns that have surfaced with internet pharmacies:
- Drug manufacturers only guarantee products purchased directly from a veterinarian. Example: heartworm preventive given monthly carries a guarantee that proper use of the product will prevent heartworm and internal parasite infection. If, however, your pet is diagnosed with one of these parasites after using a preventive, AAAH will treat your pet at no cost to you. If, on the other hand, you purchase the product from an internet pharmacy, you must treat your pet with your own resources and then deal with the internet pharmacy for reimbursement of care.
- Counterfeit drugs have been an issue at both human and pet online pharmacies. You can find useful information on this topic at the FDA’s website.
- Discount coupons or free product with purchase offers which manufacturers supply to veterinarians are not available with internet purchases.
- Many veterinary manufacturers limit product sales to licensed veterinarians. At least one internet pharmacy has been heavily fined for selling non-FDA approved drugs. This creates liability concerns for us when we’re asked to validate prescriptions requests from these companies.
- Appropriate handling, storage and shipping procedures may not be followed rendering heat sensitive drugs ineffective.
- We have known some of these pharmacies to sell short or dated product. Sorry, we cannot exchange them.
- When you have a prescription filled at AAAH you receive the medications your pet needs and do not have to wait to receive your medications “5 to 9” business days after placing your order.
It is important to us that our patients receive quality medications in the correct dosage with proper labeling. If you elect to obtain medications elsewhere, we will be happy to provide a written prescription directly to you by either mailing you the prescription or leaving it for you at the drive-thru. It will be the client’s responsibility to locate a reliable source to fill the prescription. Due to prior issues with fraudulent purchases our hospital will not fax a prescription under any circumstances. Here are a few suggestions we hope you’ll consider:
- Be sure the pharmacy is licensed by the State of Michigan. Consumers have little recourse from problems caused by unlicensed, out-of-state companies.
- Ask about shipping charges in advance as these can significantly increase costs.
- Please consider your time, especially if the vendor has questions, needs additional documentation, etc. Unfortunately, our hospital cannot act in this capacity for you.