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Minnesota Veterinary Hospital Blog

FDA Warns of Danger of Unregulated Online Pet Pharmacies

2016-11-14

 

In response to the many fraudulent online stores selling pet medication, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to pet owners in early 2015. Anyone dispensing veterinary medication must abide by FDA regulations to ensure the safety of animals nationwide. A common practice of unregulated online pet pharmacies is to entice pet owners by promising cheap medications without the need for a prescription. Another practice that led to multiple complaints to the FDA is online veterinary pharmacies that sell counterfeit or expired drugs. Sometimes the product received was not even for the right species of animal.
 
Pets Must Be Personally Evaluated to Receive a New Prescription
Federal regulations require a veterinarian to examine a patient personally before writing a prescription to treat an illness or injury. However, disreputable online pharmacies find a way around this law as well. The owners of these websites, who often have no veterinary training at all, state that they will evaluate a pet based on a health form the owner completes. Not only does that not usually happen, but the person placing the order may receive drugs in the wrong strength and size for the pet’s condition. The medication may not even be appropriate for the health condition or injury.
 
One common complaint to the FDA is online pharmacies dispensing heartworm medications and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs to pet owners without a valid prescription. Dogs, cats, and other companion animals that take these medications need to be closely monitored by a licensed veterinarian. These drugs also require a blood test prior to getting started with them. Obviously, an unregulated online pharmacy can’t analyze the results of a blood test to prescribe the correct medication.
 
Obtain Your Pet’s Medication from Minnesota Veterinary Hospital
When your pet’s veterinarian writes a new prescription for your pet, he or she will give it to you directly. If your pet needs refills or maintenance medication, we offer the option of ordering from My Vet Store Online. If you click on Medications, you will notice that you can order from one of nearly two dozen categories. Some of these include antibiotics, pain management, gastrointestinal, and insulin. You can order a single dose of medication for home delivery though the Easy Dose It program as well as set up repeat monthly shipments. 
 
When you receive veterinary medicine from Minnesota Veterinary Hospital, you have the assurance of knowing that it has FDA approval. In addition, individual manufacturers guarantee the quality and reliability of their products. With something as important as your pet’s health on the line, it just isn’t worth taking the risk to save a few dollars. 


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