We have talked about the risks surrounding counterfeit pet food, but there are other products which can harm your animals too. Today we’ll be talking about certain medicines and how to avoid giving your pet something which could harm them more than it helps.
Much like human medications, pet medicines have become more and more popular to buy online. While there are reputable online pharmacies, there are far more that sell counterfeit medications. And whether the harm comes from expired medication being sold as new, drugs made from the wrong ingredients or the wrong amount of ingredients, or even just generic medicines being sold as a name brand, ultimately we all need to be careful because these things are not something we would either want people or animals to take.
It’s tempting to save money on medicine, especially since most pets aren’t insured. Their meds can be very expensive and it’s something they only need to use for a short amount of time (or at least that’s the hope). If you can save money on something and have it delivered right to your door, then that’s a win. However, it’s important to remember that sometimes you get what you pay for, and often a deal really is too good to be true.
According to I Heart Dogs, there are ways to stay safe and identify when a medication is likely to be fake. Their article has some excellent illustrations of what a counterfeit drug looks like, as well as tips on how to look at pet medicine to ensure its authenticity.
Always check and make sure that the packaging is the current design. You may never have thought much about it, but companies update their packaging design and logos all the time. While part of it is for marketing, it’s also to help identify counterfeit sellers, as those operations often can’t keep up with brand name companies and their many changes.
Also look into the EPA registration numbers. If there’s any doubt as to whether or not your medication is real, you can check to see if it has a registration number on the end of the box. If it doesn’t, don’t give it to your pet. If it does, you can verify it here.
If something sets off your suspicion, look further into it. Inconsistencies can happen between any aspect of the product. If the box says the medicine is one thing and the foil says it’s another, then the medicine is counterfeit. It’s actually illegal for one product to be put into the packaging of another, even if the same company makes both.
Make sure the packaging is childproof. If it’s too easy to open, there’s a good chance there’s something wrong with it.
Additionally, the FDA has a program called AWARE to help pet owners identify and report issues with counterfeit medications. This program is designed to make sure that people Ask their veterinarian about medicines they plan to buy, Watch out for red flags, Always check the site’s credentials, Report any problems or suspicious pharmacies they come across, and Educate themselves about online pet pharmacies. The flier serves to provide the location of the information on how to do these things, and contact information should pet owners need to contact the FDA for information or to report a problem.
Finally, with any medical product for your pet (or yourself), if you have any questions or concerns, talk to your veterinarian (or physician). They are here to help you. It might be embarrassing to say you shopped online for drugs to save some money, but it’s better to swallow that bitter pill and seek someone with expertise than it is to expose your pet (or yourself) to any harm.
IDlogiq is working hard to make it easier for you and your furry friends to get safe and effective medications.