A few days ago, I sent in an order to 1800PetMeds.com for a year's worth of heartworm preventive. This requires a prescription. I've been doing this for several years. Normally, they contact the vet, get the okay and send me the stuff. This time, I get a letter form the vet that says:
The South Bay Veterinary Group received a faxed prescription refill request for $ad_hoc's_dog from an internet pharmacy on your behalf. We feel it is important that you know that most internet pharmacies such as PetMeds.com [sic] are not licensed pharmacies in Massachusetts. Medicines received from these pharmacies are not warranteed and guaranteed by their manufacturers.
We want you to use safe and effective medications on your pet and have the right to benefit from the claims and warranties of these medications as offered by their manufacturers.
Vetcentric is a legitimate pharmacy and distributor of veterinary medication. Medication received from this provider is fully warranteed by the manufacturer. Vetcentric offers heartworm preventative medication and prescription flea products at prices very similar to PetMeds.com. If you are interested, please first contact us so that we can call the prescription into Vetcentric for you. Once we have called in the medication, you can then contact Vetcentric at 866-838-2368 (fax at 800-270-8040) to arrange for purchase.
Enclosed you will find a prescription for the medication you requested. You may forward it to the pharmacy of your choice.
Please fee free to contact us if you have any questions on this matter.
I'm pissed off.
First, yes, 1800PetMeds is not based in Massachusetts. They're from Florida. But neither is Vetcentric. They're in Maryland. Both sell drugs that are approved by the FDA and EPA, which is all that's required.
Secondly, "Vetcentric" is nothing more than a shell outfit that provides an online presence for vets. They provide the same service to vets that Yahoo! does to any other retailer: a branded storefront. Quoting from Vetcentric's website:
"Your clients can now order all their pet's medications online from your store - not from competitive online pharmacies. Your clients enjoy exceptional convenience and value and you maintain the revenue you deserve."
"The revenue you deserve."
It's all about the Benjamins, baby.
By sending me a paper prescription, they've now guaranteed I cannot get it refilled before 1-Apr when I'm supposed to give him the tab.
Is there a medical reason for denying the refill? Apparently not, since there was a paper script in the letter.
As if I don't have enough crap going on in my life as it is, now I have to run all over the fuck trying to straighten this out. What should have been a quick click-click or phone call is now this huge thing. Do I have a special affinity to 1800PetMeds? No. Frankly, I couldn't care less. Any pharmacy registered in any state is as good as any other pharmacy registered in any other state. Having lived in Florida, I know the vets there are very heavily regulated, esp. w/r/t heartworm since it's a sub-tropical place, unlike Mass where it's frozen for half the year (frozen == dead mosquitos). I mean, it's not like I'm trying to buy from China or something. I even called this Vetcentric place and they're actually a little less expensive, (by about $4), so I probably would have been quite happy there. But this is not the way to handle it.
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