There are Internet sites selling pet drugs that represent legitimate, reputable pharmacies. These legitimate companies always require a prescription from a veterinarian before filling an order for pet drugs. But the Office of Surveillance and Compliance in the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine found Internet companies that sell unapproved pet drugs and counterfeit pet products, make fraudulent claims, dispense prescription drugs without requiring a prescription, and sell expired drugs.
In its alert, the F.D.A. raised special concern about buying a certain class of pain relievers as well as heartworm medication without a veterinarian’s prescription. Frequent use of the pain relievers known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause a number of complications in animals and people, including internal bleeding. Heartworm drugs should only be given to dogs who have been tested and shown to be free of the parasites. Giving heartworm medication to a dog that is already infected with the parasite can lead to more serious complications.
The alert is posted at http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumer.....048164.htm
It advises the following:
* Order from a Web site that belongs to a Vet-VIPPS accredited pharmacy. The Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites is a new (since 2009) voluntary accreditation program of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).
* Order from an outsourced state-licensed prescription management service that your veterinarian uses. These require that a prescription be written by the veterinarian, and support the veterinarian-client-patient relationship.