Pharmacy, medication, supplement, prescription, quality, medicine, online, price
You may not have realized this, but most veterinary hospitals maintain a fully stocked in-house pharmacy to meet the medication and supplement needs of its patients. Since many of the medications prescribed for your precious pets are made specifically for them, and therefore not available from the corner drug store, these in-house pharmacies are essential. Besides the convenience of having the pharmacy on site, another added advantage of having medications available from your veterinarian is the quality control. Your veterinarian and hospital staff are carefully trained and are very aware of the specifics and intricacies of the various drugs, medications, and supplements they stock, such as expirations dates, storage details and requirements, and uses and contraindications, not to mention the fact that they know and understand your pet's needs best. Also, because of this knowledge and expertise, most of the medications offered by your veterinarian are fully guaranteed by the manufacturer. This alone should provide you, the pet parent, with an added piece of mind.
Of late, decisions regarding the purchasing of drugs, supplements, and pet products have become even more complicated with the increasing popularity of on-line pharmacies. There is no doubt that many of these pharmacies, due to the volume of the drugs and products which they order, can often offer dramatic savings and discounts, but I do have some concerns about the products and drugs which they sell. Firstly, a basic rule of business, and life for that fact, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Since some of the prices which I've seen advertised on some of these web sites are so incredibly low, I am very wary about the purity and authenticity of these medications or products. I fear that these products may be seconds or simply bad lots which were rejected from the mainstream veterinary distribution channels. Additionally, I know for a fact that many of the medications and products available from non-veterinary endorsed companies are not guaranteed by the manufacturer since they have no control over the products once they've left the warehouses. Many of these products may, unfortunately, be outdated and re-packaged, or may have been stored in, or shipped from locations outside of north America in inadequately controlled temperatures. There are, however, quite a few internet pharmacies supported and sanctioned by the veterinary profession and the product manufacturers, which can still offer great savings and shopping convenience. A few of these actually work directly with your veterinary hospital, and in essence, serve as an extension of your veterinarian's own in-house pharmacy.
Purchasing the drugs and supplies prescribed by your pet's doctor is a responsibility which should not be taken lightly. It's okay to shop around if you'd like, but I highly recommend speaking with your veterinarian or qualified hospital staff member before making any purchases from an on-line pharmacy. Every pet is physiologically, emotionally, and behaviorally unique, and their subtle differences may make a huge difference in how they respond or react to a particular medication-something only your veterinarian can truly understand. His or her input and involvement in this process is critical! Depending on the drug or product in question if your decision to even entertain the notion of buying from an online source is based purely on financial concerns, your veterinarian may be able to assist you with other alternatives or options without potentially sacrificing your pet's well-being, or can at least direct you to a more legitimate, respected, on-line source. Remember, the health and well-being of your four-legged child is at stake.