Beaver Lake Animal Hospital
At Beaver Lake Animal Hospital, it is our policy to take every possible step to ensure that our patients receive the very best pharmaceutical products available. Veterinarians are required to have a valid client/patient/veterinarian relationship in order to prescribe certain medications for patients. We carry a number of prescription products, veterinary prescription diets' and products labeled by the manufacturer 'for sale by licensed veterinarians only'. We try to balance the convenience for you by having products available at the clinic and also through our online store. We try to keep our prices reasonable and may be lower then the services that claim they have lower prices.
Since there are many local pharmacies that sell generic prescriptions less than we can purchase the medicines for, we will try to alert you to this option for prescriptions that pets are on chronically.
You may also use our online store at https://beaverlakeah.vetsfirstchoice.com/ The products from this service do not come FROM OUR OFFICE, we do not personally handle the products but are sold through us. This service allows us to prescribe medications and prescription diets we do not regularly carry and allows us a method to allow a reduced cost on some items. You can also purchase any Hill's Science Diet or Hill's Prescription Diets through this online store. We have control of the prescription(s) and can monitor for compliance/refills, just as if the prescription/food was sold at the veterinary clinic. The products sold through this service are purchased through distributors approved by the product manufacturers. All manufacturer rebates and coupons are available just like when you purchase a product here in the hospital.
Please read this information from the FDA about purchasing veterinary products online.
And more from the FDA
And here is information from the EPA
If you wish (did you read the above information?), we will gladly write prescriptions for your pet in lieu of selling them through the recommended sources noted above. We do, however wish for your decision to be an informed decision, and want you to know several things regarding prescription sales through some or all other sources:
1. All major manufacturers (Novartis, Pfizer, Bayer, Merial, etc) of veterinary specific products ( Sentinel, Frontline, Rimadyl, Anipryl, Metacam to name a few) maintain a policy of sales exclusively through licensed veterinarians. To my knowledge not even Costco or your local pharmacy obtains these medications direct from the manufacturer.
2. Most 'human' pharmacies, Costo and most catalogue/online sources cannot obtain specific veterinary products directly from the manufacturer. They have been known to twist their words about were they obtained their product. They may report the product is from X manufacturer. They do not say they purchased from the manufacturer. Ask them. If they will prove they obtained the medication direct from the manufacturer, I would love to see the proof.
3. Most catalogue/online source sales of these products/medications are through non-approved channels.
From PME 2011 Annual Report:
We currently purchase a portion of our prescription and non-prescription medications from third party distributors
and we are not an authorized distributor of these products. We do not have any guaranteed supply of medications at any pre-established prices.
Historically, substantially all the major pharmaceutical manufacturers have declined to sell prescription and nonprescription
pet medications directly to us. In order to assure a supply of these products, we purchase
medications from various secondary sources, including a variety of domestic distributors.
4. All or most catalogue/online sources will not divulge from whom they are purchasing their veterinary specific products. We do know they get at least some of the medications through vets that are reselling product. We get solicited repeatedly to sell to these companies.
5. Most guarantees that manufacturers make regarding their products are null and void if their products are obtained through non-approved channels. This includes the guarantee reimbursement programs for flea control, as well as all heartworm and intestinal parasite claims.
6. Pharmaceuticals manufactured and labeled for use in other countries (namely Australia) have been illegally diverted and sold through these discount houses in the United States.
7. Counterfeit products have been produced. Click here for a news report.
8. Some discount houses have been cited by the FDA and State Boards of Pharmacy for violating prescribing procedures. PetMedExpress (a.k.a. SaveMax), in particular, was recently fined over $100,000.00 by the EPA and Florida Department of Health. Click here for a link to this article.
This particular discount house has also recently been sued by the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and the Texas Pharmacy Board. Click here for a link to this article.
Florida Board of Pharmacy disciplines PetMed Express, Savemax ...
Novartis sues Internet pharmacies for prescription drug
PetMed Express disciplined by Ohio State Board of Pharmacy
PetMed sued for alleged securities violations - October 1
9. PetMedExpress has deceptive advertising, as many times our prices are LOWER than their prices. They have actually lowered their price on a product when the client was informed.
10. PetMedExpress in particular at times has been aggressive and rude when they have called us. They have called multiple times after we declined authorizing prescriptions. They have wasted our time and upset our staff. They have called even after we requested they never call us again. They have tried to get us to authorize medications for pets we have no current client/patient/veterinarian relationship with.
11. Our products come with a person to help you utilize them in the most efficient manner. For example, we do not charge for recheck exams/consults for flea control if a prescription flea control product was purchased here. We will help you learn to apply product properly.
12. Shipping charges, delays, mis-shipments, and damaged products are several of the reasons that many clients feel that the hassles of dealing with the catalogue houses are not worth the savings.
13. Our fees for most prescriptions sold in the clinic include the price of the medication plus a prescription fee. We normally charge a prescription fee of $19.00. We reduce this to $8.50 on most medications that pets are on chronically, and a whole bottle is prescribed. Although the discount houses have concluded their business with you after you pay, we keep records for your specific pet, medication, dose and dosage instructions as well as refill information and requirements, regardless of where you choose to purchase the product. We keep records for at least 3 years after the last time we see the pet.
If you prefer to purchase your products at other catalogue/online houses, we will write prescriptions for these products according to the following guidelines:
All state and federal prescribing laws apply the same as if you purchase it here. (Some of the discount houses have not always followed the federal and/or state laws, but trust them at your own risk.) We will write one prescription per medication per pet per 6 months at no charge.
You must pick up this written prescription slip in person. You are responsible for sending through the mail (they cannot be faxed from you, it's the law) the prescription slip in to your choice of pharmacies. If this prescription is lost or filled improperly by the catalog house, additional copies will be provided to you at a bookkeeping fee of 19 dollars each.
To avoid any potential doctor-patient confidentiality issues, we will not communicate with the discount houses in any form or fashion. We will not fax, or return faxes to them. We will not accept their phone calls. We will not verify prescriptions over the phone or any other way. If we receive faxes or phone calls from them we reserve the right to charge you a fee of 19 dollars for administrative fees. We still will not communicate with them.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the prescription is sent, filled (is it the right drug? the right dose? the right number?), labeled, shipped, and used correctly. The discount houses have a reputation for poor customer service, and we cannot be expected to take the time to oversee their operations and shortcomings. We cannot be responsible if they send counterfeit or unauthorized products to you.
We will not become involved in any product failure issues for products purchased through these discount houses. This includes any prescription or nonprescription products.
If you change your mind after we have written a prescription script for you, we will be unable to fill the prescription for you here until you return the actual prescription form to us.
If you find an online/catalogue source that is willing to prove their purchases of veterinary specific products directly from and only from the veterinary manufacturers listed above, I would like to see the details and am willing to consider changing my recommendation toward that source.
Dr. Lisa Bennett, DVM
(425) 557 0752