Pro­tect your pet from fake meds

Texarkana Gazette - - ADVICE/COMMUNITY - By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. (c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

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 over­thepet 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 anti-in­flam­ma­tory 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!

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Well­ness Of­fi­cer and Chair of Well­ness In­sti­tute at Cleve­land Clinic. To live your health­i­est, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit share­care.com.

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