Online Pet Pharmacies
You’ve seen TV advertisements for internet pet pharmacies – they promote the convenience of home shopping with the benefit of big savings, but are they a wise option for you and your pet?
While most online pharmacies are trustworthy, some have questionable ethics and even some of the top pharmacies have been fined in several states. You are always welcome to call our office to discuss any questions you may have with veterinary online pharmacies.
Please review our requirements for working with an internet pharmacy along with the important benefits our pharmacy offers to you and your pet.
Keeping your pet healthy and happy is important. From routine to advanced optimal care, our veterinary practice is proud to offer the very best in veterinary medicine.
Can I have my pets prescription filled at an internet pharmacy?
Our clients always have the option of having a prescription filled at an internet pharmacy. However, because some internet pharmacies have dubious business practices, we will need a direct request from you with the prescription drugs you wish to have filled. In order to process a prescription the law requires that a veterinarian must have seen your pet within the past year. Depending on the patient’s medical condition and medication prescribed, this timeframe may be shorter.
Internet pharmacies will ask you to give them our contact information. They will call us or fax the request to us for approval. We will not approve any internet pharmacy requests. We only approve requests made directly by you, the client. This process is a little more involved than the TV advertisements would have you believe, but there are other important reasons why we feel an internet pharmacy is not always the best choice for our clients and patients.
If you need a prescription refilled at any time, a phone call to our office will have it ready for you to pickup within a short timeframe, or if you prefer we can drop your prescription in the mail.
Our pharmacy is a vital and integral part of our practice. It provides our clients and their pets with the latest technology, convenience, and the right medications – all at a competitive price.
Why does Purvis Animal Clinic discourage online pet pharmacy interaction?
Internet pharmacies are not always the cheapest source for medication. Our price for most items is typically less than most internet pharmacies would charge. In addition, some medications are temperature sensitive and require next day or 2nd day air delivery, which adds to the cost. Prescriptions sometimes need a signature on delivery, so you need to be home to receive the shipment.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers will only honor product guarantees when the medications are prescribed by and purchased from the pet’s veterinarian. Internet and mail-order catalogs do not qualify for these guarantees.
Any prescription medication purchased from our hospital has been inspected and approved by the FDA, and manufactured and packaged according to U.S. government regulations. Medications purchased online may have been purchased outside the United States and have different strengths and labeling than U.S. products. Sometimes you can tell by checking the label. If approved by the FDA, it should say, “Caution: Federal law restricts this drug to be used by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.” Do not use products that do not have this warning or if the label has been removed.
Our veterinary practice also passes on manufacturers’ promotions and/or rebates and these frequently result in greater savings. These rebates are not usually available from online stores or catalogs.
Using an Internet pharmacy means a delay in getting your medication. It typically takes 1-2 days for the online pharmacy to contact us and process the prescription, then there’s a 2-5 day shipping time.
Pet Insurance companies require that all prescriptions be FDA approved. If you have pet health insurance you may be reimbursed on medications when purchased from a legal online pharmacy. You will be required to provide a copy of your veterinarian’s prescription order and a copy of the Internet pharmacy’s invoice. When you purchase a prescription from our hospital there is no additional paperwork. Your hospital office call along with any prescription is all itemized on one invoice for easy submission to your insurance company.
Every week representatives from companies like Bayer, Pfizer, Novartis, Merial, and others visit our office. These representatives have access to the latest data and research, and are a valuable source of up-to-the-minute information. In addition, our staff regularly attends veterinary conferences and reads the latest veterinary medical journals and research papers. We stay up-to-date on the latest disease trends in our region and stay abreast of recent advances in veterinary medicine. However, our first source of information about products and treatment protocols are the pharmaceutical representatives. Because we offer a full-service dispensing pharmacy on site, these folks make a point of visiting our hospital frequently.