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Pet owners have a number of options for procuring their pet's medications, including purchasing directly from their pet's doctor, purchasing online from an "internet pharmacy," or purchasing from an "800 number" pharmacy. There are pros and cons to each of these options, and we want our clients to be fully informed so they can make the best choice for their household.
We are an authorized seller of the pharmacy products we dispense, which means that the manufacturers of these drugs will stand behind their products if there are any problems. We obtain our products either directly from the manufacturer or their authorized distributors, usually by overnight shipment, so the quality of these medications is assured.
In many cases, internet pharmacies, 800 number pharmacies and similar businesses are not authorized resellers of the pharmaceuticals they dispense. Some of these businesses obtain product from "middle men" who acquire product from authorized channels and divert it into unauthorized channels. Some of the products that they sell are produced for markets outside the USA, and are not labeled for sale in America. Due to the extended shipping and reshipping required, some of these products may be damaged by environmental extremes. We are also aware of clients from our practice who have purchased products from the "mail-order" pharmacies which were expired at the time the client received them. Pharmaceutical manufacturers will not guarantee their products if they are not purchased from an authorized seller, so if any problems develop, the pet owner is "on their own."
We are part of your community, your neighbors, and are here to help when your pet needs our care. Our pharmacy department is an integral part of our hospital, and the income derived from it helps carry part of the practice overhead. We use pharmacy income to pay staff salaries, utilities, and other expenses related to operating the practice. Loss of pharmacy income affects the finanacial health of the practice, and will adversely affect our ability to provide other aspects of pet health care economically.
We always provide written prescriptions to our clients when they request them. We want you to be properly informed so that you can decide on the best way to use the prescription. We appreciate your letting us be a part of your pet's healthcare team.
Source: Greg McGrath, DVM, Veterinary Information Network, January 16, 2012.
More information is available from the Food and Drug Administration:
"The staff at Somerset Vet Hospital have been taking care of my "Sophie" for 11 years. They are such caring and wonderful people."