Internet Pet Meds Come with Hidden Costs

October 5, 2022

Most of us are cost-conscious. Most of us like to price shop, to ensure we are getting the best deal on a purchase. Most of us use the internet to compare prices for everything from televisions to shoes to diapers. When it comes to pet medications, however, the cheapest drugs found online may be counterfeit, expired or imported illegally.


A recent article in Forbes details some of the dangers associated with less-than-reputable internet pharmacies. Some of these internet retailers sell counterfeit medications manufactured in Asia (yes, apparently counterfeit heartworm medications are a thing. Who knew?) Some online pharmacies sell drugs that have been illegally imported from other countries. I’ve known more than one client who purchased flea and tick prevention online, only to discover that the directions on the package were in another language. Some internet pharmacies sell expired, opened or otherwise mishandled medications that may no longer be effective, and in some cases may be downright dangerous. Finally, some online retailers sell prescription medications without an authorized prescription from a licensed veterinarian. This is frightening and illegal! It can also be deadly if there is a drug interaction resulting from inappropriate mixing of incompatible medications or overdose resulting from inappropriate dosing.

When you purchase medications and parasite preventatives from your veterinarian, you are guaranteed several things that online retailers cannot provide. One, the medications we sell have been stored, handled, transported and refrigerated appropriately. Two, the medications have been purchased directly from the manufacturer, or from a reputable veterinary pharmacologic distributor; as a result, the meds are not counterfeit, expired or illegally imported. Three, if your pet has an adverse reaction to a medication, we can contact the drug manufacturer and often they will work with us to reimburse the pet owner for the costs associated with medical care. Four, your veterinarian knows your pet, your pet’s medical history and all the other medications your pet may be receiving. This minimizes the chance for overdosing, drug interactions and unwanted side effects.

Newtown Square Veterinary Hospital has our very own internet pharmacy, providing convenient home delivery at affordable prices. You can rest assured that we stand behind the medications sold by our hospital, whether in person or online!