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"Don't buy pet medication online, it's unsafe" -- ??

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  • #21
    I would NEVER get vaccines or anything else that requires a controlled temperature anywhere other than a vet's office. They are shipped overnight on ice directly from the manufacturer. They absolutely must be kept at a controlled temperature and you have zero guarantees that they've been handled properly in any other chain of supply.

    At the vet's office I used to work at, we didn't 'recognize' self-given shots when someone came to us with paperwork for a puppy they'd gotten because of that. We simply assumed they were unvaccinated and treated them as such.
    Life-long horse lover, dreaming of the day when I have one of my very own.

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    • #22
      You DO need to be careful about reputable and certified sellers, products that need controlled temperatures (vaccines, probiotics, proteins, all break down in heat), products from other countries which may not have sufficient QA/QC, products without lot/ID numbers, generics (i.e. generic ivermectin, which is about as effective as spitting in your horse's mouth). I will buy online from SmarkPak and Allivet and that is about it. Which basically boils down to being very careful and saavy, making sure you are not so determined to save money that you cause harm.
      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
      We Are Flying Solo

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      • #23
        Originally posted by msj View Post
        Xctrygirl, Thank you very much for the info on the Rood and Riddle on line pharmacy.

        I recently had this conversation with my vet when I asked for prescription for some vaccines. When I was checking prices for 2 different vaccines for 9 horses, the best price I found was at KV Vet Supply BUT if I ordered more than 11 needles I needed a vet prescription if shipped to NY. So, my vet was just out and I asked her and her response was no because that it was part of their business. I explained that if I could save a little $ on something I could do (an IM injection) then I didn't have any qualms about spending the $ on a call for which I was currently having her come. I then mentioned I was getting Fort Dodge vaccines and she replied that FD went out of business yrs ago. I wasn't going to argue with her that Pfizer had taken over the name. Honestly, I felt it was something she should have been aware of in the first place.

        If the topic comes up again, I will remind the vet practice that 2 yrs ago when one of the horses I take care of had cellulitis, the new vet in the practice made sure to give me not only a paper showing where to give IM shots but showed me as well on the horse. Also, they have sold me meds to be given IM. So if they are showing me how to give shots (which I've done for 50 yrs) and dispensing meds, needles and syringes, they shouldn't have a problem with my request for a presciption. In the past there has never been a problem when I asked for script(Banamine)for something they sold because I could get it more reasonably through the catalogs.

        BTW, Since I couldn't get the script I went to the next best catalog price(Valley Vet). Then after reading this post, I went to the Rood and Riddle site, priced the vaccines (Fort Dodge) and they were over $40 less than from the catalog I was planning on ordering. I just need to find out how much shipping and the insulated container will add to the cost but I hope not the $40+ difference.
        I was getting ready to order my horses spring shots and noticed Valley Vet was still selling FD product all these years after it was sold. I talked to a friend in the animal health pipeline and she said federal regulations make it illegal for the current owner of the old FD company to monopolize the market. So that company still sells product under the FD label BUT anything you buy now is "new" and not stuff that has been sitting on some warehouse shelf for 2 or 3 years. I have no reason to doubt her knowledge but I have not double checked her info either.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by SarahKing View Post
          I would NEVER get vaccines or anything else that requires a controlled temperature anywhere other than a vet's office. They are shipped overnight on ice directly from the manufacturer. They absolutely must be kept at a controlled temperature and you have zero guarantees that they've been handled properly in any other chain of supply.

          At the vet's office I used to work at, we didn't 'recognize' self-given shots when someone came to us with paperwork for a puppy they'd gotten because of that. We simply assumed they were unvaccinated and treated them as such.
          LOL, know thine vet clinic because not all clinics are equal. I've been a purchaser of vaccines on ice sent directly to my home and worked at a clinic where hundreds of doses of several different vaccines were shipped in on ice through out the year. No difference, nada, zilch on the condition of the product when it arrived IF you are using a reputable company. The only difference is the pharmaceutical companies *might* cover reactions to vaccines given by a veterinarian.

          For liability reasons it makes sense that a clinic only recognize vaccines given by the practitioner. That is how it was at the clinic where I worked for any species of animal.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
            My vet is one that won't give me a script, and he also is very negative about vaccinations purchased at say the farm stores and self administered. His rationale is that the farm stores have less control over the product and keep it longer, sometimes past it's shelf life.
            The vaccinations I have purchased from farm stores contain vials that are individually dated and so is the entire package. The reason vets don't like online scripts, IMHO, is because drugs are profit centers for vets, especially the flea, tick and heartworm staples. My vet in VA sells my size of Frontline for $10 less than my vet in NY.
            ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
            Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

            "Life is merrier with a terrier!"

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            • #26
              I do some of my own vaccines, but I buy them directly from the vet.

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              • #27
                Another issue that I don't think has come up yet is dealing with manufacturer guarantees - when you are buying a product (say, Frontline, Heartgard, Advantix, whatever) from your vet, and said product guarantees that your dog won't get heartworm or intestinal parasites, they will then cover treatment if you dog DOES get said parasite. If you buy your meds from 1800-PetMeds, Fosters and Smith, anything that is NOT your vet, they will NOT cover treatment. These companies only sell their products to vets, so be aware of that aspect.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by msj View Post
                  So, my vet was just out and I asked her and her response was no because that it was part of their business. I explained that if I could save a little $ on something I could do (an IM injection) then I didn't have any qualms about spending the $ on a call for which I was currently having her come. I then mentioned I was getting Fort Dodge vaccines and she replied that FD went out of business yrs ago. I wasn't going to argue with her that Pfizer had taken over the name. Honestly, I felt it was something she should have been aware of in the first place.
                  <--- Because I use the same vet.

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                  • #29
                    Just keep in mind, that in the rare case of heartworm prevention failure, the manufacturers of the product will not pick up the cost of treatment unless the product was purchased through a veterinarian. And, depending upon the product being used, the promos available at your veterinarian may make it cheaper through them. Pfizer is currently offering buy 9 get 3 free on Revolution.

                    And FWIW, yes the manufacturers of the assorted heartworm prevention products due tell veterinarians day in and day out that they do not sell their products to Pet meds. I also personally know one veterinarian who makes money diverting product.

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                    • #30
                      Yes, you want to buy from a reputable dealer online. There are some bad places online and you don't want to touch their stuff. As a vet tech we were only firm on not buying vaccines online or from the store. I know many horse people do it but if the vaccines get the slight bit warm they are worthless. You don't know how temperature was controlled through the shipping process and how it was stored so it's not worth the chance IMO.
                      Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Marshfield View Post
                        I also personally know one veterinarian who makes money diverting product.
                        Could you explain what you mean by diverting product (and how one makes money doing it)?

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          My small animal vet has a portal from her website to an online pharmacy. My dog is on several maintenance meds and she encourages online ordering for those.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                            Could you explain what you mean by diverting product (and how one makes money doing it)?
                            Manufacturers offer discounts, rebates, free product, extra merchandise, etc. to vets who order large quantities at one time. Those vets then (sometimes) sell them to 3rd party distributors for a profit. Probably not as much profit as if they sold the product at retail, but if you can buy 100 packs of heartworm preventive and sell it immediately at a guaranteed profit (fast cash!), it "makes sense" to do so.

                            However, some companies (Elanco specifically) track their products and if you are found to be a diverter, you can never buy another one of theirs ever again. A risky proposition, since they have people on staff who routinely go online and buy their "veterinarian only" products so they can find out who is diverting!
                            Life-long horse lover, dreaming of the day when I have one of my very own.

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                            • #34
                              My vet gets $38 for a months worth of levothyroxine .06mg for my dog. I order it from Fosters and Smith for $16 for 3 months worth. Same manufacturer. That is an incredible markup, one I can not afford for the same thing.

                              For those saying their vets will not give them a script, check your states policy on vets giving scripts. It varies from state to state. Vets in about half the states HAVE to write. Oh, here is a list. http://www.zzcat.com/CRF/supplies/legal.htm

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                              • #35
                                Thank you, Sarah, for explaining.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                                  Could you explain what you mean by diverting product (and how one makes money doing it)?
                                  Sure. She bought product (in this case, Frontline) at wholesale prices. An online retailer paid her cost plus say $1 per dose. Product was shipped to the retailer who then sold it for $2 more per dose than he paid the veterinarian who originally purchased it.


                                  One thing folks do need to understand is that for many practices, drug sales subsidize the costs of other services. With drug sale revenue going away, the prices on services are going to rise. And FWIW, I do write scripts all the time. The only reason where I work has as much on hand as we do is that we are a 24 hour place. My own place will have a much smaller pharmacy when I open.

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                                  • #37
                                    Your vet tech may be correct. Not long ago, a nightly news show (60 minutes maybe?) had a segment on about overseas manufacturers of both human AND animal prescription drugs. The packaging is identical and the drugs look identical, but it's not the drug at all. Some overseas companies a use generic form of the drug but many unethical companies use just fillers, i.e., it's a sugar pill that does nothing.

                                    The fakies are everywhere in every form - even most of the "Argan oil" and even "Wen" shampoo for hair sold on Amazon is fake! It's only scented to smell like the real stuff.

                                    So yes, it's important to buy from only a reputable source, unfortunately most of the time it also means spending more money.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      We buy our supplies thru our vet, the larger supplies thru the same company that sells to our vets, that get a commission out of that, I think.

                                      The reason it is not a good idea to get any important medications and other supplies from anyone on the internet is because of possible fraud.

                                      For a while, there was some company selling very cheap dewormers we used for our cattle and those that bought from them had some get sick, the USDA and FDA checked them out and it was some bogus lab in the Caribbean selling adulterated deworming, cut down with some powder to sell more of it.

                                      I would not save some pennies and maybe have a sick animal and have to spend dollars because of that bit of savings.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by WaningMoon View Post
                                        My vet gets $38 for a months worth of levothyroxine .06mg for my dog. I order it from Fosters and Smith for $16 for 3 months worth. Same manufacturer. That is an incredible markup, one I can not afford for the same thing.

                                        For those saying their vets will not give them a script, check your states policy on vets giving scripts. It varies from state to state. Vets in about half the states HAVE to write. Oh, here is a list. http://www.zzcat.com/CRF/supplies/legal.htm

                                        You can buy it in most pharmacies for the Walmart price match for $4, $10 for 90 day prescription.
                                        Last edited by LauraKY; Feb. 26, 2013, 02:11 PM.

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