Pet parents, please be cautious when purchasing pet drugs and products online. Many online pharmacies and pet product companies have been know to sell unapproved, counterfeit or expired pharmaceuticals and products, make fraudulent and misleading claims, and dispense prescription drugs without requiring a veterinary prescription. Unfortunately, most pet parents will not know if they are the victim of fraud until their pet suffers a severe reaction or even dies. We all like to save money but a “good deal” is not worth short-changing your pet’s health and putting his or her life at risk.
Just recently, the CEO of Action Packing and Design in California, Paul S. Rodriguez Jr., has admitted to making and selling counterfeit animal health product labels and packaging. Rodriguez had made labels for some of the most popular products including Merial’s Frontline and Frontline Plus, and Zoetis’ Rimadyl. Examples like this are the primary reason manufacturers such as Merial and Zoetis will only stand behind their products when purchased through a licensed veterinarian. Should your pet have any type of reaction after purchasing from a veterinarian, the manufacturer will not only compensate you for the product purchased but will pay for all medical expenses. The same will not apply when purchasing through a 3rd party reseller not recognized by the manufacturer.
If you choose to purchase online make sure that the site is a Vet-VIPPS accredited pharmacy (Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites), which is a voluntary accreditation program of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy that ensures the online pharmacy is reputable and adhering to a specific set of standards. You can always check if a site is accredited by visiting www.nabp.net. If you are unsure about a particular site or have questions about a product’s validity always contact your veterinarian.