December 30, 2012
Internet pharmacies…the good…the bad…

Internet veterinary pharmacies started becoming popular starting in the late 1990’s. The positive aspects were to be that pet medications could be ordered without leaving the house and they were less expensive due to low overhead costs and because veterinarians were overcharging clients.

The following are my thoughts concerning the good and bad aspects of the internet pharmacies:

Positive points:
1. They are convenient with one not having to leave the comfort of one’s home.
2. Prices may be less with a lower overhead.

Negative points:
1. The prices often aren’t as good a deal as they usually claim. If you contact us and check, I think you’ll find that the prices for heartworm preventative, Rimadyl, etc. are about the same. In some cases, the pharmacies are more expensive due to the way they must obtain the products.

2. Some of the commercials claim that the product guarantees and customer support are the same; however, this is not the case. The veterinary pharmaceutical companies have stated that they will not stand behind their products when purchased over the internet. Information from the pharmaceutical companies via drug reps, publications, and veterinary blog sites state that they will stand behind their products with guarantees only when they are purchased and sold or administered through licensed veterinarians. The reasons for this are:

a. The pharmaceuticals sold through internet pharmacies are acquired by certain veterinarians purchasing the product and then sold (against pharmaceutical company policies) to third party pharmacies.
b. The companies can’t guarantee that the products have been stored properly.
c. Counterfeit drugs/medications are becoming more prevalent and they can’t be sure it’s actually their product.

3. If the pharmacy isn’t able to acquire certain requested medications, they will “suggest” an alternative medication. Often this isn’t a good idea medically.

4. More and more pharmacies are being found to be located outside the U.S. which makes it more difficult to tell if the product you ordered is the same product you received.

With all this being said, clients are free to purchase from Forest Trails or any pharmacy one chooses. Our aim is to make sure our clients aren’t taken advantage of and that their pets receive what they need with the available product protection.

– Dr. Welch.