WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ONLINE STORE AND ONLINE PHARMACY?
Covetrus (formerly Vets First Choice) is an online approved veterinary specific pharmacy that sells veterinary prescriptions, like Interceptor Plus and Nexgard. We are members of Covetrus pharmacy which allows our doctors to prescribe medications for your pet that can be shipped directly to your home.
Online stores, like Chewy or 1800-Pet Meds, are not approved pharmacies. A true approved pharmacy purchases their products directly from the manufacturer. For example, Zoetis is a manufacturer of many prescriptions, like Apoquel, that only sells directly to veterinarians or true pharmacies like Covetrus. This means that online stores are not purchasing their veterinary prescription medications directly from the manufacturer. The online stores do not declare their source of prescription medications.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
When online stores do not buy their medications directly from the manufacturer, this imposes a risk of buying these prescriptions. Their sources are not declared thus leaving the integrity and quality of the medications in question. This could mean that the medication being sold from these online stores is counterfeit, expired, or not from the United States.
Many manufacturers issue warranties that guarantee their products will protect our pets. For example heartworm prevention products have a warranty stating if your dog receives heartworm prevention consistently every month for a year, but then is diagnosed with heartworm disease, the manufacturer will then pay for treatment. The stipulation is that the manufacturer needs proof of purchase ideally through a veterinary pharmacy. Only very recently, have the manufacturers begun to accept proof of purchase through online stores.
To eliminate any uncertainty on if your pet is receiving medication of the highest integrity and eliminate any concerns amount voiding the manufacture’s warranties, we recommend purchasing directly from your veterinarian or from a true online pharmacy such as Covetrus.
WHY WE WANT YOU TO KNOW
Our goal is for pet owners to be fully informed of the risks of purchasing medication online. As a consumer it is not readily apparent there is a difference between an online store and a true approved veterinary online pharmacy. We have had multiple conversations with the manufacturers of veterinary medications and it seems there is no viable solution other than to educate our pet owners. We hope that being armed with this information will help you make the best choices for your pet. We only want the best for your loyal companions!