What You Should Know About Online Pharmacies

Online Pharmacy Facts

  • Manufacturers of heartworm preventatives will NOT guarantee their products if you buy them from online pharmacies. If these products are purchased from a veterinarian, the product will have a guarantee. This guarantee means if you pet gets heartworms the manufacturer will pay for your dog to be treated and cleared of the heartworm infection.
  • Online pharmacies can NOT purchase heartworm medications directly from the manufacturer or distributors. Instead they have to find people who will ship them product to sell. As a result, online pharmacies do not know where these products originated from.

The Dangers of Online Pharmacies

  • "These days, buying prescription drugs from the Internet is easy, but finding a safe source for those medicines is not. More and more people are turning to the Internet for cheaper drugs that are easy to get, but medicines purchased from these Web sites often come with the risk of harming you or your family. Rogue Web sites are all over the Internet selling drugs that are not what they appear to be. These sites may be selling drugs that are counterfeit, contaminated, or otherwise unsafe." - National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
  • "When you order from an online pharmacy, the product must be shipped to you. If the medication isn't properly shipped (for example, it is allowed to get too hot or too cold) or isn't properly packaged, it could be ineffective or damaged and unusable." - American Veterinary Medical Association
  • "Illegal online pharmacies may sell medicines that are counterfeit, outdated, mislabeled, incorrectly formulated, or improperly made or stored. These medicines may not contain the actual drug, may contain contaminants, or the incorrect amount of drug, may not work as well due to age or being stored in conditions that were too hot, cold, or humid, and may not have the proper directions for use." - U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • "Plaintiffs allege that throughout the June to July period, the defendants misrepresented or failed to disclose serious flaws in PetMed's business model and its ability to guarantee the quality, safety, or efficacy of the drugs it sells." - JAVMA News -
  • "Many counterfeit drugs are bought via legitimate-looking Web sites. Although possible, it is rare for drugs purchased at reputable pharmacies to be counterfeit." - National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
  • "In April 2002, the board charged PetMed Express with 80 counts, including 33 counts of making deceptive, untrue, or fraudulent representations, or employing a trick or scheme in, or related to, the practice of a profession. Thirty counts involved selling or dispensing drugs without a proper prescription. The complaints involved the company's alternate veterinarian program, through which the company allegedly contracted with veterinarians to write prescriptions for animals they had never examined. This is a violation of Florida law, as well as many other state's laws, because no valid doctor-patient relationship exists. The company was also charged with selling drugs not approved by the Food and Drug Administration." - JAVMA News -


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