To be VIPPS certified you have to be compliant with State and Federal law commensurate to “real” brick and mortar pharmacies.
Here is a list of VIPPS accredited pharmacies. When an online pharmacy gets accredited on this list (Petmeds had it but lost it) I would consider writing/calling it in. In the meantime, NABP/VIPPS looked at thousands of online pharmacies and NINETY FIVE PERCENT of them were out of line / out of compliance with US Pharmacy Law.
I will gladly write / phone a prescription for the same medications as above to a walk-in brick-and-mortar pharmacy under Georgia law enforcement jurisdiction.
I will charge a prescription fee of exactly 50% (half) of what my own doctor charges me, to phone in a prescription to a walk-up pharmacy under Georgia law enforcement jurisdiction.
I am regretful (but not that regretful) to lose a few clients to the above policies.
NABP/VIPPS looked at thousands of online pharmacies and NINETY FIVE PERCENT of them were out of line / out of compliance with US Pharmacy Law.
My license to prescribe wasn’t granted. It was earned. And even if an owner would risk their pet’s health on ‘cheap’ options, I won’t. That means a client might have to secure cheap medical attention and products under the guidance of another clinician.
Here’s what makes me distrustful of online pharmacies.
- 800Petmeds was certified as a “real pharmacy” by an organization called NAPPS (National Association of Pet Pharmacies.) Guess who formed and owned that? Yup, 800Petmeds. The standards and qualifications: Having a logo on your website and being a member.
- The new certifying organization is (NABP.pharmacy = VIPPS) whom they do NOT own. VIPPS had certified 800Petmeds a year ago, but now, VIPPS won’t certify them. What’s interesting is that in order to LOOK like they’re certified they have a sign on their site that says “What does it means to be VIPPS certified?” and links to the VIPPS site. Not to a certification.
- Chewy.com pharmacy: Not VIPPS certified.
- Petsmart.com pharmacy: Not VIPPS certified.
- Walmart Pharmacy: *IS* VIPPS certified. Most of the brick and mortar pharmacies also run proper online pharmacies. I’m not just saying that. You can look at the data.
- PetcareRx refilled my clients heartworm test for three years in a row. That’s illegal.
- Online pharmacies buy their heartworm prevention over seas and from veterinarians on the grey market at a discount. Veterinarians are willing to sell a crate or two of Heartguard to online pharmacies for “a cut of the price” but it also gets them a discount from the manufacturer on orders for their OWN clinics based on volume. It’s been tempting but Karma is a “thing” for me.
- FROM: http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=12583“PetMed Express is among a growing number of pharmacies and retailers trying to undercut DVMs on flea and tick killers, obtaining those products apparently via gray-market channels.”“We only guarantee what is sold through licensed veterinarians with a Novartis account,” said Mickey McDermott, vice president of communications in North America for Novartis Animal Health, Inc.The EPA said in a press release: “There has been a recent increase in the number of companies bringing unregistered pet products into the United States. Last year, EPA assessed a fine against a San Diego pet store for selling unregistered Advantage for Dogs and Advantage for Cats. Also, a Stop Sale Order was issued to a distributor for importing unregistered Advantage products from Mexico with Spanish labeling.”
On its Web site, the EPA warns consumers to beware of counterfeit Frontline Top Spot, Frontline Plus and Advantage. Clues to counterfeit product include: writing in a language other than English; product volumes expressed in milliliters rather than ounces; packages not child resistant; instructions missing; and lot numbers on the cartons not matching lot numbers on applicators.
During six months in 2003 and 2004, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized nearly 60,000 pieces of counterfeit Frontline and Advantage from China, according to agency spokeswoman Erlinda Byrd. The seizures happened on nine different occasions but were traced to a single importer, who claimed to have purchased the product in the United States, shipped it to China for repackaging into smaller quantities and returned it to the United States for distribution.
Things (including my opinion) may change, if these online pharmacies get NAPB/VIPPS certified but once they lost ownership of their own certifying authority (NAPP) and real standards were put in place, they could not hack it. It’s a fact that most people think of PetMeds and the like as “legitimate” pharmacies. When they’re certified, I might begin to think so.
The largest online pet pharmacy in the world is doing fine without VIPPS certification. Honestly, folks believe that if you’re running television ads and aren’t shut down, you must be legit.