Q - I've noticed the number of internet pet pharmacies increasing on TV and the internet. Why is this?
Dr. Foster: "They are merely following the trends in human medicine. Human internet pharmacies have been around for years, and have provided a valuable service to physicians and their patients. Now pet owners and veterinarians can take advantage of the savings and convenience offered by internet pharmacies specializing in medications for veterinary use."
Q - How does Drs. Foster & Smith's online pharmacy differ from other pet medication websites?
Dr. Foster: "The major difference is that we are a fully licensed pharmacy with licensed pharmacists and veterinarians on staff. We operate in full compliance with all federal and state regulations, so you can buy from us with the same confidence that you would your veterinarian."
Q - How do veterinary pharmacies benefit veterinarians?
Dr. Foster: "Our pharmacy stocks hundreds more drugs than would be found in most veterinary clinics. It is simply too costly for veterinarians to keep every needed medication on their shelf. Now when they need certain drugs, they can easily provide a prescription authorizing a veterinary pharmacy like ours to dispense the drug. This not only provides a service to the pet owner, but also keeps the prescribing veterinarian's inventory costs to a minimum.
Our veterinarians and licensed pharmacists are also available to consult with your veterinarian regarding special or complex medication issues."
Q - How do I obtain a prescription from my veterinarian?
Dr. Foster: "Once your veterinarian examines your pet and determines that a medication is appropriate for your pet, simply ask your veterinarian to provide you with a prescription. Prescriptions can be mailed to us, faxed from the veterinarian's office, or your veterinarian can call in the prescription to one of our licensed pharmacists."
Q - Other online pharmacies claim all I need to obtain a prescription is to provide them with my veterinarian's phone number and they'll make the call, rather than me taking my pet in for a check-up. Will Drs. Foster & Smith call my veterinarian for me to ask for a prescription?
Dr. Foster: "It's important for pet owners to be able to buy medications conveniently and at an affordable cost. That's why we exist. But beware of any online pharmacies who try to completely take the place of your veterinarian. Having a strong relationship with your veterinarian and regular veterinary exams are the optimal way to maintain your companion animal's good health. That said, we offer several ways for pet owners to get their pet's prescription on file, including contacting their veterinarian at their request.
Dr. Foster served two terms as a member of the Board of Directors of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Michigan State University, where he also participates on the Michigan Veterinary Practitioner Advisory Council.