Online Medication Risks

For years we have heard about counterfeit prescription pet medications being sold on Internet sites. The doctors and staff at our hospital have warned our clients about the risks involved in online purchases.

Recently, a client at our hospital purchased 2 Seresto prescription flea collars on an internet site. The product he received was sealed and packages identically to Bayer’s product. After using the collars for some time, he found his pets were still struggling with fleas. Luckily, he saved the containers from his “Seresto” collars, so he called Bayer costumer service. The skew on the label was identified that the collars were counterfeit.

This is an example of the perils of online medication purchases. If you buy a knock off purse online that is one thing. If you purchased supposed prescription medications for your pet online, they may not work or worse, may make your pet sick. Another concern with online purchases is, are they properly handled to ensure the medication is effective.

Several years ago, online Heartgard (a heartworm prevention) was sold online at a very reduced price. Many people purchased the product assuming their pet was receiving protection from this deadly disease. Later it was discovered that this Heartgard was shipped from Australia and had been damaged from exposure to temperatures above the manufacture range of 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit. For this reason, pharmaceutical manufactures will not stand behind their product guarantee if the medication was purchased online.

We ask you to please be careful and re-consider before making an online purchase of prescription pet medications if it is not through your veterinarian. When you purchase Heartgard and other heartworm preventatives from licensed veterinarians, the company will usually back their product. If you give the medication as directed and your pet develops heartworm, the company will usually pay for most or all of the treatments.

Please be careful and take these things into consideration before any purchases.

Thank you!