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|09-29-2010, 05:33 PM||#1|
Donating YT 2000 Club Member
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: North Carolina
[NEWS] Warnings About Discounted Pet Drugs
The United States Food and Drug Administration has issued a consumer alert to pet owners, warning them about the dangers of buying discounted pet drugs online.
Reputable online pharmacies can help pet owners save money when they purchase prescription drugs, just as they can help people get their own prescriptions filled. However, legitimate companies always require a prescription from a veterinarian before filling an order for pet drugs.
The F.D.A. warns that its own investigations have found online companies that sell unapproved drugs or other counterfeit products. Some sites make fraudulent claims about a drugís effectiveness, while others dispense drugs without a prescription or ship expired drugs to unsuspecting pet owners.
In addition to prescription drugs, Web sites also may sell some products like specialty dog and cat foods that also typically require a prescription. The F.D.A.ís Center for Veterinary Medicine regulates animal drugs, but state pharmacy boards regulate the dispensing of prescription veterinary products.
In its alert, the F.D.A. raised special concern about buying a certain class of pain relievers as well as heartworm medication without a veterinarianís prescription. Frequent use of the pain relievers known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause a number of complications in animals and people, including internal bleeding. Heartworm drugs should only be given to dogs who have been tested and shown to be free of the parasites. Giving heartworm medication to a dog that is already infected with the parasite can lead to more serious complications.
The F.D.A. advises pet owners who want to buy online drugs to place orders at sites that belong to a so-called Vet-VIPPS accredited pharmacy. The name, which stands for Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites, is a voluntary accreditation program of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. The agency notes that the program only began in 2009, so only a small number of pharmacies are currently Vet-VIPPS accredited.
Another option is to ask your veterinarian or veterinary hospital if it uses an Internet pharmacy service or a prescription management service.
The Danger of Discounted Pet Drugs - NYTimes.com