At River Ridge Veterinary Hospital, we take pride in being your furry family member’s doctor and see our role as an integral part in providing healthcare to your pet. The primary focus of our practice is centered on offering professional, high-quality medical, surgical and dental care. In addition to these professional services, we do stock numerous forms of pharmaceuticals and products for your pets.
River Ridge Veterinary Hospital takes measures to ensure the medications and products we provide to our patients are properly handled and stored per manufacturer recommendation. The items we offer from our pharmacy are obtained either directly from the manufacturer or through selected manufacturer-authorized distributors. Sourcing pharmaceuticals by these methods allows for chain-of-custody tracking and verification of pharmaceutical integrity.
We are aware there are many internet sites and catalog houses which sell pharmaceuticals directly to consumers. Contrary to slick print and television advertising marketing that tout pet medications available at “less than half the price from your veterinarian”, our pharmacy generally offers full-sized packaged medications (Heartgard, Frontline, Trifexis, Bravecto) for similar prices – in fact, our prices might even be lower when company “bonus doses” or manufacturer rebates are considered. Wherever you decide to have your pet’s prescriptions filled, we want your decision to be an informed one.
River Ridge Veterinary Hospital Prescription Policy
We will provide a written prescription upon request, provided that we have recently examined your pet, that its required tests are current, and that the particular medication or product requested is appropriate based on the weight and health of the animal. The timeframe of ‘recent examination’ and ‘current’ test is at the doctor’s discretion but will never exceed more than one year from your pet’s last annual examination and last negative/normal test. The written prescription will be provided directly to you. You may request to pick it up or ask it be mailed to your home address (postage fee will apply). We do not charge a fee for writing prescriptions for our patients. We will only provide written prescriptions from our tamper-resistant prescription pads.
WE DO NOT RESPOND TO FAX OR TELEPHONE REQUESTS FOR PRESCRIPTION AUTHORIZATIONS.
If you choose to use an internet or catalog pharmacy to obtain your pet’s medications, you should mail the original written prescription to the pharmacy. Special security features of our written prescriptions prevent any attempt to fax, copy or scan them by causing “VOID” to appear across the copied prescription, thus invalidating it. Carefully select your choice of pharmacy by thoroughly researching them.
Products purchased from our pharmacy are FULLY manufacturer-warranted and guaranteed.
In addition to reimbursement for the cost of the product itself, the guarantee includes reimbursement for the treatment of heartworm disease or intestinal parasites should your pet contract heartworms or specific parasites while taking their prevention products. Online pharmacy guarantees typically cover only reimbursement for the cost of the failed product, and may not cover the costs of subsequent treatments. The treatments for failed preventatives can be very expensive, not to mention the extreme risk to the animal.
Manufacturer product guarantees are VOIDED if those products are purchased through any non-approved channel or for products sourced via gray-market brokers.
Many online or catalog pet pharmacies are NOT manufacturer-authorized channel/distributors of the most commonly purchased heartworm and flea/tick preventative products. This means that if the manufacturers do not sell directly to these companies, these pharmacies obtain these medications through third party companies (gray-market brokers) that divert these veterinary products around the intended chain of custody set aside by the manufacturers. This action then nullifies the warranties on these products. Merck, Zoetis, Merial, Elanco, Boehringer Ingelheim (manufacturers of Heartgard, Deramaxx, Sentinel, Rimadyl, Frontline, Trifexis, Confortis, Bravecto) often have strict policies that prohibit direct sales to these pharmacies, catalog companies or third party distributors.
From 1-800-PedMeds 2019 Annual Report (p. 6 of their report under “Risk Factors”)
"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 purchase medications from various secondary sources...we will continue to rely upon secondary sources."
Many online pharmacies have been repeatedly reprimanded by the FDA and State Boards of Pharmacy for violating prescribing procedure. Several well known companies have been cited and fined repeatedly for the same violations in the same state!
In some instances, pharmaceuticals manufactured and labeled for use in other countries (Australia, New Zealand) have been found to be illegally diverted and sold through internet sources and catalogs in the USA. In addition, counterfeit and expired medications have also been produced, repackaged or sold to unsuspecting consumers. https://www.fda.gov/inspections-compliance-enforcement-and-criminal-investigations/criminal-investigations/april-27-2018-seller-counterfeit-and-unapproved-pharmaceuticals-sentenced-prison
Other Related Links: https://www.petful.com/pet-health/how-to-know-pets-meds-are-authentic/