Recently, our Doctors here at Dunedin Animal Medical Center have encountered an increase in FAX requests from what we consider to be questionable online pharmacies.  We do not have the resources to research every pharmacy who sends us a prescription request, to determine if they are in the 3% minority of legitimate (FDA Approved) online pharmacies, or to see if they hold a current Florida Pharmacy License.  Therefore, we will not work directly with online pharmacies.

Since, legally, we cannot practice ‘pharmacy-discrimination’, we must either address ALL of the called or faxed requests for prescriptions, or we must address NONE of them.

There is no legal middle ground.

THE “WILD WEST” OF PHARMACIES

It is estimated by the FDA that around 97% of online pharmacies who sell to American customers are operating outside or out of reach of American laws.

  • The FDA researched 10,000 online pharmacies who sell to American customers, and found that 97% of them were operating illegally, by not conforming to FDA regulations…. Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware).
  • It is estimated that there are over 40,000 online pharmacies worldwide, selling illegally to unsuspecting American consumers.
  • The Centre for Safe Internet Pharmacies claims that each month, 600 illegal online pharmacies are launched.
  • The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP) notes that every online search utilizing the keyword phrase “buy medicine online” returned links for online pharmacies operating illegally.

Because of the vast numbers of online pharmacies illegally selling drugs to American customers, our dealing with online pharmacies places our doctors and our hospital in a precarious position.

A prescribing doctor must be confident that the pharmacy calling or faxing for a prescription authorization or refill, has the ability to get the medication, dose and instructions correct, 100% of the time. Unfortunately, our doctors don’t have that confidence with all pharmacies, and we are not legally allowed to practice pharmacy-discrimination, by  choosing to work with some online pharmacies, but not others.

CONVENIENCE VS SAFETY

We haven’t always thought this way.  We used to work with online pharmacies, but we encountered too many issues.  For instance:

  • Phone-in prescriptions often result in transcription errors made by the pharmacy.
  • Faxed prescription requests frequently have missing or even incorrect information regarding pets’ medications, dosage and/or instructions.

Your pet’s doctor is responsible for the prescription they approve.  We…

  • Are only allowed to prescribe the medications needed by your pet
  • May not prescribe more medication than your pet needs.
  • Must have confidence in the pharmacy getting ‘it’ right.

Most folks in the USA do some or a lot of shopping online.  It’s convenient, but convenience can come at a price.

If you choose to purchase your pets’ medications online do your homework and confirm that you are dealing with one of the 3% online pharmacies that are in full-compliance with current pharmacy regulations. Your pet deserves no less.

PET MEDICATIONS FROM DAMC

You may feel that you can save some money, purchasing your medications from an online pharmacy, but consider this:

  • We do our absolute best to keep our pet medication prices as competitive as possible.
  • The majority of our clients purchase their pet meds directly from DAMC or from a local pharmacy, and we appreciate you.
  • At least some money (and tax) stays in our local economy, helping support local governmental infrastructure (police, fire fighters, teachers, youth programs, senior citizen centers, road maintenance, landfills and even other small businesses).
  • We pay LOCAL taxes, unlike outside online pharmacies that made $19 BILLION and paid no taxes, anywhere.

Again, we appreciate your confidence in allowing DAMC doctors to provide medical care for your pet(s) and supporting our local small business infrastructure.

YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION IS SAFE WITH US

  • We do not authorize access to, or share your personal information with, ANY outside entities.
  • We use your personal contact information exclusively for pet health reminders, and information regarding your pet’s health (i.e: emergency pet food recalls, etc.)

DAMC VS ONLINE PHARMACIES

  • You can actually call us and talk to a live person who you probably met on a previous visit.
  • We do not have an endless phone-tree menu.
  • We do not have a customer service department that is “experiencing higher than usual call volume”

What we DO have is…

  • Real-live-people that answer our phones (7-days a week)
  • The same great staff that you have probably met on a previous visit.
  • Personal service, which is lacking in our current online world.

SUMMARY

A prescribing doctor must be confident that the pharmacy calling or faxing for a prescription authorization or refill, has the ability to get the medication, dose and instructions correct 100% of the time. Unfortunately, DAMC doctors do not have that confidence with all pharmacies. We are not legally allowed to practice pharmacy-discrimination and approve some and not others.

  • With phone-in prescriptions we have found transcription errors made by someone at the pharmacy.
  • Faxed prescription requests frequently have missing information or even incorrect information regarding your pets’ medication, dose and/or instruction.
  • Your pet’s doctor is responsible for the prescription they approve and….
  • Are only allowed to prescribe the medications needed by your pet
  • May not prescribe more medication than your pet needs.
  • Must have confidence in the pharmacy getting ‘it’ right.

ANALOG SOLUTIONS IN A DIGITAL WORLD

The best way to ensure that your pet is being prescribed the correct medication, dosage and instructions is by providing you with a written prescription, on REAL PAPER, clearly delineating the medication, dosage, instructions and refills approved by your pets’ doctor.  From there, you can decide to  hand deliver that paper to a local pharmacy

Since our doctors do not have the confidence that ALL pharmacies can get your pets’ meds correct, we cannot approve called or faxed prescriptions from pharmacies, and only provide written (typed) prescriptions, signed by your pet’s doctor at the time the medication is prescribed.

We know that your pets’ health is vitally important to you, so paper prescriptions is the best solution to ensuring that your pet gets the CORRECT medication, dosage, instructions and refills they need.

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