According to a consumer alert issued recently by the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), buying pet medications through online pharmacies can be risky.
FDA regulators have documented cases at both domestic and foreign internet pharmacies of unscrupulous practices including:
- Sale of unapproved pet medications
- Sale of counterfeit pet medications
- Sale of expired pet medications
- Dispensing drugs without a prescription
The CVM is especially concerned about pet owners who are buying two prescription veterinary meds – NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and heartworm preventives – online.
The CVM warns that these drugs can be dangerous when administered to pets without guidance and monitoring by a licensed veterinarian who has evaluated the need, use and safe dosages for the dog or cat receiving the medication.
According to DVM Newsmagazine:
“If consumers opt to use an Internet pharmacy, the FDA wants them to pick a pharmacy accredited through the Association of Boards of Pharmacy's Vet-VIPPS (Veterinary Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site) program. Outsourced prescription management services used by veterinarians offer another credible pharmacy source, FDA says.”