One of my clients today was excited to find Bute powder online at the cheapest price she had seen. I did write her the prescription but with a warning of buying horse drugs online can be dangerous.
The internet truly is the wild west out there – it is the land of buyer beware. Companies have sold expired drugs, re-labeled drugs, counterfeit drugs, and drugs that have not been stored properly. All of these situations can be dangerous for your horse. One of the big concerns is that of improperly stored drugs that have lost their effectiveness.
There is no way for you as a consumer to know if the drug that you are buying from a pharmacy online has stored the drug like it should have been stored. It might look the same, has the appropriate label and even has a good expiration date, but has lost its effectiveness because it was stored in a warehouse that was not climate controlled and was exposed to excessive heat or cold.
The FDA has been trying to figure out a way to solve the growing problem of online scammers selling drugs in the human pharmaceutical industry and now finding similar problems in the pet drug industry – Purchasing Pet Drugs Online: Buyer Beware
Now of course there are some companies selling online that are reputable and follow the correct procedures in operating a pharmacy. They maintain patient confidentiality, quality control of their products, and require prescriptions when appropriate.
So how do you find a reputable online company selling horse drugs that are safe?
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy has a program called Vet-VIPPS an acronym for Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites. It is a new program and the FDA recommends if you purchase from an online pharmacy that it be Vet-VIPPS accredited. It is a voluntary program but the requirements are stringent. At this time because of the requirements and how new the program is there are only 6 companies on the list – Find a Vet-VIPPS online pharmacy
It can be safe and very cost effective to buy your horse drugs online, but you need to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your horse. The cheapest is not always the best. Be wary and smart about purchasing online. I would suggest purchasing from a Vet-VIPPS and if your favorite online pharmacy is not on the list I would give them a call and find out why they are not on the list. There should be no reason why they should not be if they are reputable and can make the criteria. There are only 19 criteria and they are all important, if the pharmacy can not meet the criteria you should not do business with them.
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