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Oct 02 2017

Big Pharmacy

Here is the weekly note written by D. Frantz…

If you listen to the news long enough or pay attention to the internet too much, you might hear stories about veterinarians who “only want your money.”  I’m so sick of commercials from large internet pharmacies that make it sound like I’m tripling the costs of all my drugs so that I can live a life of luxury.

Veterinarians have had their own pharmacies from the beginning of veterinary medicine, much like the old-time country doctor with his tinctures and powders on the shelf.  We don’t rely on our pharmacy to get rich but to supply you with the best quality of pharmaceuticals with the best information we have and at your earliest convenience.  And because of our pharmacy, we are able to charge a modest office call. If we can make a few dollars on medicine then we can charge less for your office call.  If “big pharmacy” wins their legislative battles and requires us to out-source our drugs to other pharmacies, your office call will easily triple. How much do you pay your physician for an office call.  Mine is over $100.  My co-pay alone is $50 every time I walk in their door.

So whats the big deal about using an Online or Big Box Pharmacy:

1. You will only receive a Manufacturer guarantee on Flea/Tick/Heartworm prevention if it was purchased from a Veterinarian. Manufacturers will cover issues that arise with its medication if purchased from a Veterinarian… sometimes up to $1500.

2. You can only receive the FREE doses that manufacturers offer though a Veterinarian.

3. The Pharmacists at local pharmacies have no training in veterinary pharmacology. They will often elect to substitute a drug which could be very risky to the health of your pet.

4. Risks for receiving counterfeit, outdated, mislabeled, incorrectly formulated, or improperly stored products medication is very high from an online store. They will not help your pet if there is a problem after taking the drug.

Below is an expert from an article I found online about the painful results of Pharmacists not understanding the Veterinary drugs. (www.aha.vet)

“…According to the OVMA rep, they have had a number of reports of pharmacists altering prescriptions sent from veterinarians, sometimes in direct contraction of the doctor’s orders. In a few cases, pets have died as a result of these changes. Examples include:

  1. Pharmacists recommending a less-expensive form of human insulin which is not suited for use in pets.
  2. Pharmacists reducing dosages on medications such as thyroxine and phenobarbital.
  3. Pharmacists altering and repackaging drugs obtained from gray-market channels….”

When you’re tempted to use “big pharmacy” companies, please remember a few things:

1. Remain loyal to your area code if at all possible- buy local at reputable pharmacies with national reputations for honesty and reliable products, whether it be your local agricultural center or the area mega-grocery.

2. Avoid all long-distance, internet-only, located in “Timbuktu” pharmaceutical companies.

3. Double-check that your prescription heartworm and flea/tick preventatives come with the same guarantee you would receive at a veterinary practice, also including rebates and buy-one-get-one specials.

4. Check all packaging to make sure it is authentic, and the expiration dates are valid. If there has been any altering of the package in the slightest way, return it immediately.

5. Call your state pharmacy board to see if your internet pharmacy has been investigated for unethical business dealings in the last ten years.

We all want a bargain, but your pets medication may not be worth cutting corners on. It’s like playing roulette.  And I don’t think it’s worth the gamble.

Leave me a comment on this and please share with your friends.

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