Prescription Medicine For Sale
Commentary by: Heidi Chambers
Animal hospitals have many obligations besides the care and welfare of animals. In order for the hospital to exist and function, it needs to pay the bills just like any other business. Medical equipment, its maintenance and up keep, purchasing inventory such as medication, tests, lab work etc. all add to the expenses. The cost staff salaries, staff health insurance, and other lay staff expenses are also an obligation. These are all important necessary expenses that directly effect the health of our patients. The medical equipment are mostly the same as a the human hospitals use and are expensive but well worth it. The same goes for lay staff expenses. Hospitals must have a team that is dedicated, trustworthy, and knowledgeable in the veterinary field. Most of us wouldn’t even consider trusting our own medical doctors if the office didn’t have up to date and maintained equipment, nor would we put up with an uncaring, inexperienced staff that have new people every time you visit.
In order to keep office visit fees low but quality care high, veterinarians partially rely on the sale of medication and other important products. When discount stores find a legal loophole (or a way to make it seem legal) so they can sell prescription medication and products, the ultimate result may give the animal hospitals no choice but to raise office fees, test costs, and other procedures to supplement the loss of revenue.
I researched a few of these discount medication websites that I have seen advertised on television. These are my findings:
The savings one could get from buying a product averaged out to be within $2 to $5 on the most popular product sold. However, the average total purchase price after the cost of shipping and handling can easily change the amount of savings. Furthermore, the shipping price rises for purchases over 2 pounds total weight (under 2 lbs. usually starts at $4.99) came out to be equal or more expensive than purchasing from your veterinarian! A few of the popular products this company sold were MORE than the average animal hospital charges, not even including shipping and handling fees. Also note: if you see an "800" or website company offering "free shipping," make sure you read the fine print! Most free shipping often only applies to orders over a certain amount, such as $75.00.
My other concerns were focused on safety. I couldn’t help but to ask myself if I would ever purchase medications for myself or my child from an unknown source. The answer is absolutely no way and here is why. There are many so-called online companies that sell medication for many different conditions such as diet pills, sexual difficulties, depression, and more. All one must do is fill out a short questionnaire which serves as your “doctor's exam.” Then, get out your credit card. . . You’re sure going to need it! These so- called medications are priced at an outrageously high amount of money. The average amount usually starts at $75.00 and can sky rocket to at least $300.00. If that is not bad enough, the consumer has no idea where this medication is coming from. Then I thought, well if it isn’t real medicine in those capsules, what IS in those capsules? One may think twice before swallowing a questionable substance in which one has no idea where “Dr. John Doe” is, or knowing if he even exists. I find it extremely disturbing that the these companies are still operating; legally or not.
Many consumers are unaware that a purchase of veterinary products from these sources are not backed by the efficacy guarantee or money back guarantee that is provided by the pharmaceutical company. For instance, if one purchases Heartworm preventive from the veterinary hospital, the client and patient are protected by the guarantee. If the pet contracts Heartworm Disease while using the product and has had a recent Heartworm test before starting the preventive the pharmaceutical company will pay for the entire treatment. The same goes for flea and tick products and other medications purchased at the vet's office. A consumer is on their own when products are purchased from other sources. Additionally, there are no returns or refunds from online or phone ordered medicine, as it is against Federal law.
The advertisements that I have seen for discounted medicine are very misleading to a consumer. The company makes it seem as if the consumer can "just pick up the phone and receive the medicine in the mail without a trip to the vet's office." This is false. You have to have a prescription from the vet. Most veterinary hospitals will not authorize any prescription over the phone or fax. The client must come into the office and pick up a written prescription.
To sum it all up I have concluded that after the proper procedures are taken, to place an order the consumer has now: 1) Made the trip to the vet's office anyway 2) Paid approximately the same price or more for the purchase, 3) Paid a shipping handling fee, 4) Forfeited any guarantees provided by the pharmaceutical company, 5) Risked the health and safety of the pet and contributed to a possible price increase to their veterinarian's hospital fees to supplement the loss of inventory sales.
I can confidently say that I would never risk the health and safety of my own pets even if it did turn out to save me a few dollars or a few extra minutes of my time. My pets mean too much to me. If any of the information I gathered from researching this topic keeps even one animal safer, then it was well worth my time.
It is so important to us that your pet's stay as safe, happy, and healthy as possible. We take pride in our chosen profession. Our love and concern for animals and their people is the reason we put all of our efforts into this practice. When it comes to the lives of animals, nothing less than our best will do. . . ever.
If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, send us an email or call our office. We will be happy to respond as quickly as possible. That’s what we’re here for!
Responsible Pet Ownership
Important Considerations Before Adopting a Pet
During the years, I have seen many people adopt or purchase a dog whom have no business doing so. In situations where the pet owner(s) is away for several hours during the day (ESPECIALLY with a young puppy) this is not effective for house training and may cause separation anxiety which results in excessive barking, crying, chewing, and other behavior problems. Many times, the pet owner ends up giving the dog away, having it put to sleep, or bringing it back to the shelter. Some more evil-minded people even just "let it go" in a field or lock it out of the house. I am not joking; this is an unfortunate on-going occurrence. Another COMMON situation is when a couple gets a puppy or dog together. Suddenly, the wife becomes pregnant and the couple decides they need to "get rid of the dog." DOGS ARE NOT DISPOSABLE like yesterday's garbage! I consider that a poor excuse for "getting rid of a pet" and very irresponsible This is something to consider when getting a puppy or dog together as a couple...What may your future hold? Will you possibly have children? Will either of you take the time to train and spend time with the dog? Is it a breed that is considered to be "kid-friendly"? Why do you want a dog in the first place? Is it for the right reasons? Can you afford him or her even beyond routine shots and exams, but in case of an emergency situation? Can you afford to get him or her spayed/neutered?
Which Breed is Best Suited for You?
A responsible pet owner will research the breed of dog they desire if a full-breed is wanted. For example, a Chow Chow or Shar-Pei is not recommended for those with small children lest, originally being bred to fight bears. All breeds will still carry many of their natural instincts, hence, to fight, herd, guard, or be aggressive. (Any dog can become aggressive; especially un-neutered males. Many are aware of the unfortunate negative label Pitbulls have been given due to the low-life's that "train" them to fight. They are actually very friendly and "family friendly dogs.) A few more examples: A Dalmatian tends to be very hyper active and difficult to train, some smaller breeds tend to be "one-person" dogs that may become aggressive toward anyone that comes near or touches their "person", and some breeds such as Australian Shepherds and Border Collie's need to have plenty of exercise, a constant need to feel useful, and are very eager to learn new things due to their high level of intelligence...meaning they require a lot of attention. Some breed like Puli's, Samoyed's, Poodle's, Lhaso-Apso's, Yorkshire Terriers, and many more require professional grooming or regular home grooming. These are just a few examples and not an intent to single out any specific breed. Also, if you have one of the breeds I mentioned or are considering one, this doesn't mean these are not "good" or "bad" breeds.
Indoor or Outdoor Dog?
Dogs are natural pack animals, which means they long to be with their pack. They consider their human family their "pack" and being isolated from them is a huge stress factor brought on to their lives. When a dog is allowed to live inside the home (especially after a significant amount of time such as only even a few months) then are suddenly placed outside to live, this is a major cause of stress. The dog will feel rejected from the "pack" and become depressed, anxious, lonely, and probably develop behavior problems. Weather is another important factor. Extreme heat or cold can be very dangerous, even when shelter, food, and water are provided.
The bottom line is this: if you (and/or your spouse/family) not only research the breed of dog, all agree on his or her upbringing and decide who is responsible for what tasks regarding walking, feeding, etc., and have the TIME to contribute to giving the dog enough attention THROUGHOUT it's life, have and expect the monetary responsibility involved, and are willing to share 7 to possibly 15-16 years with him or her, then, by all means, get a dog.
The Many Jobs Pets Perform
Studies have shown that interactions with dogs and cats will actually lower a human's blood pressure, help heal humans emotionally and physically, and uplift the general mood. It also aids in teaching bonding and responsibility to children. It is also proven to uplift the emotional/physical states of the elderly in nursing homes and people in long-care term facilities.
Dogs give humans so much. For all they do for us, be it hunting/retrieving our food, protecting us and our property, herding our livestock, warning us of danger, sniffing out drugs or bombs, scanning people for Cancer and/or other medical ailments, risking their lives as trained K-9 Police Officers, and/or just as a companion, they deserve the best care and consideration that can and should be provided. It is the least amount of any repayment we can give them for the awesome impact they have on our lives.
~Heidi B. Chambers, A.H.O.T.