Some people would have you believe that all online pharmacies are dishonest. We know for a fact that this is NOT a true statement, because Express Veterinary Pharmacy is not dishonest. If we’re not dishonest, then all online pharmacies can’t be dishonest. But, according to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), the VAST MAJORITY of websites selling prescription drugs online today are doing so illegally (see www.safe.pharmacy). The NABP has reviewed close to 11,500 internet drug sites and found that 96% were illegal according to US law.
As a consumer, you should be aware of this and be careful about which websites you use to purchase medications. We all know that there are counterfeit products out there; a Rolex watch selling for $20 by a guy on the street corner is not a real Rolex. There are “medications” sold online that are counterfeit. These “medications” don’t include the real drug, or they include very little of it. Some illegal pharmacies sell drugs that are either very near, or past, their expiration dates. Some illegal pharmacies sell prescription drugs without a prescription, which can cause a lot of harm if used without a medical practitioner’s approval. Unfortunately, some people or businesses will cheat you if they can make money doing it.
How do you protect yourself? One easy way is to check the www.safe.pharmacy website. If the internet pharmacy you are doing business with is not listed there, it may be illegal. In order to be listed on the safe.pharmacy website, an internet pharmacy must meet numerous standards and policies set out by the NABP, including, but not limited to, the following: Be licensed in each state in which it operates; not have any recent significant disciplinary actions taken against it; must comply with all laws; must fill only valid prescriptions; and must provide patient services in case of questions. In order to obtain a pharmacy license in each state (one of the requirements of .Pharmacy accreditation), the pharmacy must meet hundreds of requirements to ensure it is legitimate. So if you see the pharmacy listed on the NABP safe.pharmacy website, or if you see the .Pharmacy logo on a pharmacy website, you can feel safe that the company is meeting all laws and providing quality medications.
The idea for this blog came up because a client called and was angry because his veterinarian was charging significantly more for a medication than Express Veterinary Pharmacy charged. This gentleman was upset at his veterinarian and complained. His vet said that we must be selling fake drugs to sell them that inexpensively.
I understand why the veterinarian said this, even though it’s not true. How CAN we sell some medications for so much less than veterinarians? As you probably already guessed, one reason is because of volume pricing. Express Veterinary Pharmacy sometimes buys more of a given drug in one month than a lot of vet clinics use in a year. The manufacturer gives us a better price if we buy a certain amount at once. As an example of this, I was shocked to discover that we can SELL some medications at Express Veterinary Pharmacy for less than my vet clinic can BUY them! That’s the power of volume purchasing.
Another reason is that all we do is sell medications. As a practicing veterinarian myself, I know how much equipment and staff it takes to practice medicine. We don’t have any of those expenses at Express Veterinary Pharmacy, so we can price our drugs much closer to what they cost us, which saves you money!
I would ask you NOT to get angry at your veterinarian because of their drug prices. As I said in another blog, your veterinarian spent a long time in school learning how to help animals and they have your animal’s best interests at heart. They price their medications where they do to help cover their expenses. In many cases they can’t buy medications as inexpensively as we can because of volume pricing. You can appreciate and cherish your veterinarian while also asking for a prescription to save money. I think that most veterinarians understand this as well.
To summarize, check www.safe.pharmacy to ensure that any online pharmacy you use is listed (human or veterinary); have confidence that Express Veterinary Pharmacy is legitimate; and have confidence that we are giving you the lowest price possible for the exact same drug your veterinarian uses.