If Betty White says it’s true, it has to be true, doesn’t it? It’s the same product, in the same containers, but it gets delivered right to your door, and costs way less than buying it at your veterinarian’s office, right? They couldn’t stay in business if they were ripping people off, could they?
Let me tell you a couple of stories about on-line pharmacies – no names will be mentioned, but the stories are true. A friend of mine who worked in the veterinary field (not a Veterinarian) purchased a product online, because it was so much less expensive than at her Veterinarian’s Clinic. The product didn’t work very well. Because she had contacts in the veterinary field, she sent a tube of the product (a well-known flea and tick preventative) to a laboratory for evaluation. It was a tube of tap water. Not even distilled water! Fake package, fake product, fake prevention. She couldn’t get her money back, because she couldn’t prove where the product originated.
I once received a telephone call from a pet owner in Texas, complaining that the product we prescribed for her did not work, and it made her dog quite ill. I explained that we were in Massachusetts, and I assured her that we did not prescribe any medications to her dog in Texas. She was told by the online pharmacy that if her veterinarian wouldn’t prescribe what she was looking for, don’t worry, because they kept a veterinarians information on file, so they could use it for anyone’s pet. We turned them in; they were caught. They were fined thousands of dollars…the cost of doing business. They make so many millions of dollars doing what they do, that a few thousands, or hundreds of thousands makes no difference.
When you purchase products on-line, or even if you purchase products from stores that you know and trust (like Wal-Mart), you have no idea how the product has been handled and stored. It may have sat in a warehouse near the heater vent for the last month and be totally ineffective. In our veterinary hospital, we get the products from the manufacturer or our trusted distributor partners and the products are stored, handled, and shipped according to instructions, and are guaranteed to be effective.
Often, we have special purchasing deals that allow us to give free product, or discount product, or have coupons for rebates. Often, it works out that our pricing in the hospital is actually less than you pay on line. Besides, how much is peace of mind worth?
Look, I like Betty White, too, but when it comes to my pets, I’d rather listen to Dr. Fagerquist. She knows them better.