There have been several cases of counterfeit medications in the news recently, as well as recent “repackaging” of medications at several Big Box stores. Both of these events have led to real and understandable concerns among our clients and animal lovers in general. For this reason, we would like to clarify and restate our stance on prescriptions and medications filled elsewhere.
At Altos Veterinary Clinic, we take pride in being your four-legged family member’s doctor and see our role as an integral part in providing healthcare to your pet. The primary focus of our practice is to offer high quality medical, surgical and dental care. In addition to these professional services, we stock numerous forms of pharmaceuticals and pet products for your convenience. We attempt to keep our prices competitive, but know that occasionally you may find a “better deal.”
It is our practice policy to provide written prescriptions to our clients at their request. We do not charge a fee for writing prescriptions for our patients. We do, however wish for your decision on where to have your pet’s prescription filled to be an informed one, and feel it is part of our responsibility as your pet’s doctor to advise you consider and be aware of the following:
We will provide a written prescription on request provided we have examined your pet in the past 6-12 months or at the doctor’s discretion for the particular medication or product as appropriate. Many medications require laboratory monitoring at regular intervals as well. For most medications, this lab work must be checked every 6 to 12 months, but in some cases a particular disease process or medication may require more frequent monitoring.
If you choose to use an outside pharmacy source, we advise you to copy your script and give them the original. Please double check to ensure your prescription is sent, filled, labeled, shipped and used correctly. Because of the differences in usage between pets and humans, there are many documented cases of human pharmacists incorrectly filling a prescription for an animal patient. (Unfortunately pharmacy school does not provide any training in veterinary pharmacy, and the two are very different!)
The FDA-CVM has documented that pharmaceuticals manufactured and labeled for use in other countries (Australia, New Zealand) have been illegally diverted and sold through some sources in the United States. In addition, counterfeit medications, preventatives and out of date products have been produced or repackaged and then sold to unsuspecting consumers. These are the primary reasons why guarantees made by manufacturers (regarding their veterinary products) are not honored if their products are purchased through non-approved channels. In the case of extreme reactions, this can lead to expenses totaling thousands of dollars for which the manufacturer is not liable.