Submission Number: 560891-00607
Received: 10/11/2012 5:41:13 PM
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Pet Medications Issues, Project No. P121201
Attachments: No Attachments
Recently, Heartguard became generic so when in May I went to the vet for my dog's annual check up, I requested a written prescription for the generic so I could purchase it from a reputable online pharmacy, Fosters & Smith. I was told that to get the script, the vet office would have to give my dog a test to make sure he didn't have heart-worms, the cost of the test, $30. However, if they sold me the medication, my pet would not need to get the test. And I was told that if I bought the medication from a pharmacy the pharmacist would require that I show results from the test. Right then and there I called the online pharmacy to check if that was in fact the case, and as I suspected, the do not require test results to sell Heartguard, or its generic, ivermectin. Having to pay for the test to get the script meant that the savings for getting the medication online would go away. I complained, but ended up buying the prescription from the vet's office. Their excuse is that if they sold me the medication they would have more assurance that I was giving my dog the meds but if I bought the meds elsewhere, they wouldn't have this assurance. Of course, this makes no sense. I get to decide whether I give my dog the medicine or not, regardless of where I buy it. And I can choose NOT to buy it from anyone. Of course, they did not carry the generic medication in the office, I am sure they wouldn't make as much money selling those as selling the branded prescriptions.
I felt like I was being blackmailed. I was being forced to buy the meds from the vet. He has told me before that he buys all the meds on a credit card that gives him miles, and that is how he is able to take lavish vacations a few times a year. If he didn't buy the meds to sell to the owner's of these animals, he wouldn't get to travel.
I think it is unethical and wrong, maybe even illegal.
My vet is Dr. Locke Taylor from Richmond, VA.