Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Pet Medications Issues, Project No. P121201
I graduated with my veterinary degree in 2007. While in school we discussed the ethics and legality of allowing clients to use places like 1800PetMeds to recieve prescriptions for flea/tick and heartworm/intestinal prevention. It is still the same issue 5 years later. The major product manufactueres (Novartis, Pfizer, etc) assure us that they do not sell to PetMeds and PetMeds will not clearly tell us where they receive their products. There have been several incidents of people receiving foreign products from PetMeds. Considering these factors, we have no idea where these online pharmacies are obtaining their product - Mexico Europe elsewhere Are they even the correct medication Have they been shipped or stored appropriately Can we as veterinarians and the client trust that the pet is safe When you purchase flea/tick or heartworm/intestinal parasite products from a veterinarian and your pet contracts a parasite that was supposed to be prevented by these medications there is a guarantee from the company that they will pay for diagnosis and treatment for the suspect "failure" of the medication (assuming the pet has been receiving it monthly). There is no such guarantee from the online pharmacies - only a refund of the money. There are incentives to veterinarians who purchase large quantities of these products - therefore, the extra product they purcahse they can unethically sell to PetMeds for a profit. Ever wonder why PetMeds is sometimes out of certain products I understand the financial aspect to our clients/the consumer but this is more than a financial issue - it is a safety issue for the pets. We as veterinarians have the best interest of the patient at heart and obtaining a product that may not be what it says it is, may not be stored properly (too hot, too cold, etc), and doesn't come with a company backed guarantee for health and safety is not in the best interest of the pet.