Associate Veterinarian at Carol Stream Animal Hospital
Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Pet Medications Issues, Project No. P121201
The availability of pet medications online and and corporate pharmacies is bringing down the value of veterinary medicine. With the ease of access of pet medications, consumers are learning that some human medications can be easily used in animals....thereby quickly turning to ibuprofen or tylenol as quick fixes, when these medications are severely toxic. Additionally, by taking away the role of the veterinarian, consumers are less educated and patients are less protected. OTC flea/tick and heartworm preventions do NOT come with a guarantee and break-through infections are high in some part of the country, leading to risks to other animals and humans. Online pharmacies do not always mandate prescriptions. The highly controversial online pharmacy PetMeds has been notoriously known to send the paying customer UNauthorized medications, labeling themselves as "veterinarians" authorized to dispensing treatments to ailments they know nothing about. I fear that the more that is taken away from us - the less valuable our role becomes in the community and for public health. Veterinary medicine has still not risen to the stature of human medicine. When that time comes, then maybe we can discuss ease of obtaining medications from other pharmacies, but hopefully the government will give back this authority to us.