The truth about online's not pretty.
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The truth about online's not pretty.

Spring is finally here!!!  We waited through such a tough winter and we definitely deserve the warm weather that is ahead.  Along with the warm weather, we unfortunately have to deal with all the critters that rear their ugly heads when the sun shines.  Fleas and ticks and heartworms, Oh my! 
Through the eyes of your veterinarian’s office, there is one more critter that rears its ugly head, especially around this time of year… the online pharmacy!  1800PetMeds, PetMedExpress, PetCareRx, EntirelyPets blah, blah, blah.  The only praise I have for these companies is for their marketing departments.  Cute, cheerful commercials, boasting on the ease and convenience of their service and “guarantee”.  Without researching what these companies are really about, it looks like the perfect business.  Well…I’ve done the research and it doesn’t look good.  Several of these pharmacies have numerous violations against them, such as
  • Selling drugs that have been manufactured outside of the United States.  There are 2 issues with this...
1.      There is no FDA present to monitor or approve the medications that were not manufactured here.
2.      Often foreign companies use the metric system for dosing.  You may easily be under or overdosing your furry family member.
  • Selling imitations of the prescribed drug or not as the veterinarian wrote the prescription.
  • Selling prescriptions directly to consumers without a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.
Since the Grand Poobah of them all (1800-PetMeds) is a publicly traded company, lets make some of these violations public. 
  • In 1998, The Florida Pharmacy Board, received several complaints against PetMeds for issuing medications to patients without a prescription.  PetMeds was hiring an “alternate veterinarian” to write the prescriptions without having any contact with the patient.  This complaint was settled in 1999 with a small fine and no admission of any wrongdoing.
  • In 2001, PetMeds was issued a “stop sales order” after selling a flea control product that had been purchased outside the United States and therefore gave their doses in metric numbers.  The maker of the misbranded product, Novartis, also sued PetMeds and other online pharmacies over this issue.
  • In 2002, PetMeds was once again charged by the Florida Pharmacy Board with “operating an alternative veterinarian program”.  Ohio and Texas soon followed with their own lawsuits.  All suits were settled with penalties, probation and community service but once again with no admission to any wrongdoing.
  • In 2004, after PetMeds went public, six securities lawsuits were filed by shareholders, claiming that the company delayed disclosing their past problems in order to allow time for its executives, including founder, Marc Puleo, to sell off their shares.
Now I’m not sure about all of you, but this doesn’t sound like the kinds of companies I would trust with my girls’ medications.  I’m not even sure it sounds like the kind of business ethics I demand from a company that I do business with.  Please, please be careful where you are getting your pet’s medications from and always remember that the safest place is always through your veterinarian!

3 Comments to The truth about online's not pretty.:

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mens reefer on Sunday, November 11, 2012 11:40 AM
YEs, I agree with you, always through your veterinarian to get the pills for your pets.
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Sarah on Sunday, January 19, 2014 8:28 AM
I don't trust to much on online pharmacy, only a physician is best to concern.
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Karim on Saturday, February 27, 2016 3:04 AM
Nice post !!!
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