As of August 1, 2020, Piney Creek Square Integrative Veterinary Medicine will no longer approve prescriptions from third party online pet medication retailers.
There are multiple reasons for this policy change in which we will highlight here. Please read through this information as the decision to make this change has been a lengthy and arduous one. Our intention in being transparent with this policy change is with the hope and purpose to mitigate most of the issues and concerns our discerning clientele and pet parents may have with this amendment to our practice policies. However, if there are questions or concerns moving forward, please do not hesitate to contact us.
- Integrity – Third party online pet medication retailers have a history of mishandling prescriptions, selling diverted product, circulating counterfeit medications, and operating without appropriate licensure. Pets have been given the wrong drugs or the wrong dosage of a drug and pay the price in lack of protection from parasites, ineffective medication therapy or in the worst cases, serious illness and death. Diverted product means that the pharmaceutical companies are not directly selling their products to these retailers making the chain of custody unclear as well how these medications are stored and packaged. Piney Creek Square Integrative Veterinary Medicine can no longer be a party to these practices.
- Knowledge – Do you wonder who fills your pet’s online prescription? Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are not as well trained in veterinary pharmaceuticals and can usually only explain the label claims of any given product. We have seen retail pharmacies substitute medications that contain dangerous ingredients, like xylitol, where hospitalization for a pet was necessary and the mishap may have even resulted in a beloved pet’s death. They just did not understand the difference between people and pets enough to realize they were giving a toxic substance to the pet owner. Our staff is trained and knowledgeable about the proper use, safety, and benefits of any given veterinary pharmaceutical – including extra label use, which is routine in veterinary medicine. We keep only pet safe medications in our pharmacy.
- Manufacturer Guarantees – Most guarantees that manufacturers make regarding their products are null and void if their products are purchased through non-approved channels, such as third party online pet medication retailers. This includes the guarantee reimbursement programs for Sentinel® heartworm preventative, as well as all flea, tick, and intestinal parasite claims. If your pet has a reaction to these medications or any type of problem, the manufacturing company may be unable to offer you any type of reimbursement or cover cost of care related to medication usage if purchased through a pharmacy other than ours. Additionally, the staff at Piney Creek Square Integrative Veterinary Medicine will be unable to assist you in claims against those manufacturers.
- Handling Prescriptions – Be skeptical of any retail pharmacy that does not require a prescription prior to selling you a prescription drug. Pharmacies that sell drugs without the required prescription are violating FDA rules. Prescriptions must be updated according to the Colorado Veterinary Practice Act, which means scheduling a visit for an Annual Wellness Exam, at minimum, and necessary lab tests. Keep us informed of all medications, prescription and over the counter, that your pet is administered to avoid giving him/her a dangerous combination of drugs. Unlike third party online pet medication retailers, our products come with a person to explain the most appropriate medication for your pet, how to use them, and honor the guarantee if they fail to meet your expectations.
- Pricing – Not all internet medications are less expensive. Scrutinize the price of each individual product you order. Consider manufacturer rebates when comparing prices. These rebates may reduce the cost of a drug considerably. Since drug companies usually do not offer rebates to online retail pharmacies, the cost of a drug may be less at our veterinary clinic or our online pharmacy partner once the discount is applied.
- Timing – Timing is essential. You may not have the medication available soon enough to start your pet’s treatment in an optimal time to provide relief for his/her condition. If waiting days to receive a medication affects your pet’s health, fill their prescription locally. At Piney Creek Square Integrative Veterinary Medicine, you can call ahead, or e-mail us your refill request, and it will be waiting for you. True convenience and your time is worth something, right?
Buying from these online and retail sources is not always the safest way to get the medications, preventatives, and prescription food your pet needs. The FDA has warned consumers multiple times about online pharmacies. At Piney Creek Square Integrative Veterinary Medicine, we feel that by approving prescription requests from third-party online retail pharmacies that our staff is endorsing the safety and legitimacy of the products from that pharmacy, and that is not an endorsement we are comfortable making anymore. We have a long-standing relationship with our veterinary pharmaceutical suppliers, and we trust their products and handling.
The consistent competition for online products has become time consuming for our staff to verify and fulfill online requests. These calls have become overwhelming and take excessive amounts of staff time to process and verify. Additionally, we will no longer communicate with third party online pet medication retailers by phone, email, or fax due to several legal and medical liability issues. It is impossible for us to identify if the request is truly coming from the pet owner listed. And quite simply, we do not have the staffing to manage the constant interruptions that online pharmacies place on our ability to practice the quality of veterinary medicine and to provide the level of customer service our clients have come to know and appreciate.
Above all, PLEASE think on this……STAY LOCAL!
Piney Creek Square Integrative Veterinary Medicine is a privately owned practice. Most clients enjoy the culture of private ownership versus corporate policy and procedure. By purchasing your pet’s preventative and chronic medications from our pharmacy, you will be providing revenue to help support the dedicated staff whom provide the personalized customer service that you have come to know over the years. And we genuinely care about and know your pet. You and your pet are more than a transaction to us. With us, you are doing business with neighbors and friends, not a distant corporate office.
We understand that life is busy and convenience plays a huge role in wanting to order from online stores. So, we now have our own trusted online pharmacy partner where you can purchase medications, heartworm, flea and tick preventatives, regular and prescription foods and much more to be delivered straight to your door! Simply visit our customized online pharmacy to create an account, then select the products you would like to order and it will send us a prescription approval request. You can set up auto-shipments if you like, and your purchases will still qualify for the same manufacturer rebates and guarantees we offer in-hospital.
Your pet’s health is and always will be our highest priority. We want to ensure that your pet receives only the safest and most effective foods, medications, and preventive care products. If you understand the risks outlined above and you would still prefer to obtain your pet’s prescriptions elsewhere, we will gladly provide a written prescription that you can fill at your convenience through the pharmacy of your choice. The written prescription ensures that the doctor’s instructions are clear and cannot be changed and puts responsibility for the safety and quality of the products received in the hands of the pet owner. Unfortunately, due to the time-consuming demands by online pharmacies, we cannot review or honor requests outside of an exam and/or consult. At the time of your pet’s Annual Wellness Exam, if your pet needs any written prescriptions please ask us and we be happy to provide them. Finally, before filling a prescription with an online retailer, we ask that you keep the following in mind: Shipping charges, delays, mis-shipments, and damaged products are several of the reasons that many clients feel that the hassles of dealing with the third party online pet medication retailers are not worth the savings.
We are sorry for any inconvenience this policy creates, but it is necessary to ensure excessive prescriptions are not acquired and to manage our staff’s time in caring for the pets we see daily. To process these requests, outside of an exam appointment, staff is required to review your pet’s records and then our doctor needs to review and approve the request before preparing the written prescription. For our doctor and staff to evaluate those requests, outside of a scheduled exam, there is a $20 administrative fee for written prescriptions. This fee covers time for record review and our standard prescription fees. Additionally, if this prescription is lost or filled improperly by the pharmacy, supplementary copies will be provided to you with an administrative fee of $20.00.
*** The administrative fee will be waived until August 1, 2021 to allow one calendar year for clients to be informed and aware of the policy change. ***
- Written prescriptions must be picked up in person during normal business hours. Under no exception are we able to provide prescriptions to owners through the mail, fax or electronically.
- We will write one prescription per pet per year per medication at no charge during a scheduled exam, either at your pet’s Annual Wellness Exam or an exam related to the use and management of the requested medication.
- We cannot replace lost, or misplaced prescriptions.
- We will not write new prescriptions if you choose to change pharmacies. In the event you must change pharmacies you will need to contact the original pharmacy to have your prescription transferred.
We will willingly write prescriptions for requested products/medications according to the following guidelines:
- All state and federal prescribing laws apply the same as if you purchased the medication/diet from Piney Creek Square Integrative Veterinary Medicine.
- To avoid any potential doctor-patient confidentiality issues, we will not communicate with the pharmacy in any form or fashion.
- We will not become involved in any product failure issues for products purchased through these discount houses. This includes flea and tick prevention, heartworm prevention, and intestinal parasite control.
- It is your responsibility to ensure that the prescription is sent, filled, labeled, shipped, and used correctly. We will not be expected to take the time to oversee these operations.
- We suggest that you plan ahead when ordering and make sure that you have enough medication to last until your order can be processed by the online pharmacy. You may have to mail this prescription to the online pharmacy of your choice, be sure to get the appropriate mailing address from the company directly.
We invite you to call us at (303) 693-3133 if you have any questions or concerns. And if you would like to request a written prescription to be prepared for pick up during business hours, please visit our website. More information about our prescription policy can be found at pineycreekvetclinic.com.
Before you buy online consider, keep the following information in mind: