FDA warns pet owners about online pharmacies

FDA warns pet owners about online pharmacies

A new Web resource says veterinarians are pet owners' best source of medicines for pets.
Mar 23, 2010
By dvm360.com staff

Online pharmacies continue to tout discount prices and sometimes “no prescription required” to pet owners, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) isn’t buying it. The agency is reminding pet owners once again that veterinarians are their best resource for prescription medicines. A new online booklet— “Online Pet Pharmacies: Protect Yourself and Your Pet—Be A.W.A.R.E.”—tells pet owners advice how to find a reputable online pharmacy, but begins and ends with advice to talk to you.

The acronym A.W.A.R.E. spells out five steps for pet owners to follow when considering online pharmacies:

A—Ask your veterinarian.
W—Watch for red flags.
A—Always check for site accreditation.
R—Report problems and suspicious online pharmacies.
E—Educate yourself about online pharmacies.

The booklet wraps up with words any veterinarian or veterinary team member will appreciate:

“Whenever your pet needs prescription medicines, your veterinarian is your best, most reliable source, because your veterinarian:

> physically examined your pet and knows your pet’s medical and treatment history,
> knows which medicines are safest for your pet,
> educates you about potential side effects associated with your pet’s medicines,
> shows you how to properly use the medicines prescribed for your pet,
> stores prescription medicines in the clinic according to label directions, and
> uses current, unexpired medicines.”

Click here to read and download the booklet. See the related links below for more on talking to clients about online pharmacies and Internet resources.