Pro­tect­ing your pet from fake meds

Journal Pioneer - - LIVING ROOM - Drs. Oz and Roizen

From “Lady and the Tramp” (1955) to “A Lucky Dog: Owney, U.S. Rail Mail Mas­cot” (2003) and “A Dog’s Pur­pose” (2016), it’s clear we love our pooches on and off the page and screen, and that we want to give them the best life we can. But you can get de­railed, warns the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion, if you buy your ca­nine’s med­i­ca­tions on­line.

In 2013, Amer­i­can con­sumers spent $7.6 bil­lion on pre­scrip­tion and over-the-counter pet meds, and there are ever more non­vet­eri­nary out­lets for pur­chase of these med­i­ca­tions, open­ing the flood­gates to in­ter­net scam­mers of­fer­ing un­ap­proved, ex­pired and coun­ter­feit meds at a dis­count. Two of the med­i­ca­tions that the FDA’s Cen­ter for Vet­eri­nary Medicine is most con­cerned about are heart­worm pre­ven­tives and non­s­teroidal an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory drugs. Both, says the CVM, can be very dan­ger­ous if your vet doesn’t get in­volved. So how can you be sure you’re get­ting pet med­i­ca­tions that are safe and ef­fec­tive?

1. Al­ways in­volve your vet. Get a writ­ten pre­scrip­tion, pur­chase the med­i­ca­tions from the vet­eri­nary of­fice it­self or use an in­ter­net out­sourced pre­scrip­tion man­age­ment ser­vice that your ve­teri­nar­ian ap­proves. Never buy a med­i­ca­tion from an in­ter­net site that does not re­quire a pre­scrip­tion.

2. Buy only from sites that end with “.phar­macy” (like “.com”) ad­dress. There’s a new Phar­macy Ver­i­fied Web­sites Pro­gram with strict en­roll­ment stan­dards world­wide; only re­li­able phar­ma­cies can get that url.

3. Never al­low an on­line site to have sup­posed ve­teri­nar­i­ans “di­ag­nose and pre­scribe” by hav­ing YOU fill out a form de­scrib­ing your pet’s health is­sue!

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