Informed Consent for Online Prescriptions
It is our policy at Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital to ensure our patients receive the safest and most effective pharmaceutical products available. This is especially important for life threatening illnesses such as heartworm disease. However, we do understand and empathize with the desire to find products at a reduced cost. Several out of state, online pharmacies are able to sell products at a slightly lower cost than is possible for us, but we strive to stock and sell them at a comparable price. Please read the following information so that you can make an informed decision before purchasing products from other sources:
- All major manufacturers of heartworm products maintain a strict policy of sales exclusively through licensed veterinarians. All catalogue/online pharmacies receive their products through non-approved channels. Pharmaceuticals manufactured and labeled for use in other countries (ie. Australia) are illegally diverted into the U.S. and sold through these discount sources.
- All guarantees by the product manufacturer are null and void if their products are purchased through any source other than a veterinarian. If there is a failure in effectiveness, then you are solely responsible for the cost of treatment.
- Online and catalogue pharmacies have been cited by the FDA and State Boards of Pharmacy for violating prescribing procedures. PetMedExpress (aka SaveMax), for example, was recently fined over $100,000 by the FDA and Florida Department of Health and has been sued by the Texas Board of Veterinary Examiners and Texas Pharmacy Board.
- Common complaints about online pharmacies include shipping charges, delays, mis-shipments, and damaged products.
- Our products come directly from the manufacturer and are guaranteed.
- The sales of many of our products help subsidize the cost of our specialized equipment and other services in our hospital used to provide our patients with the best care possible.
If you prefer to purchase your products from another source, then we will gladly write a prescription for the product according to the following guidelines:
- A complete physical examination by Dr. Samon (or an associate veterinarian) must have been performed within the past 12 months to determine health status.
- A heartworm test must be performed prior to prescribing Interceptor, Sentinel, Revolution, or Advantage Multi, and the test must be negative for the parasite.
- You must inform us prior to having any online pharmacy contact us for authorization. We will not authorize a prescription without your verbal request and our approval of the product.
- Online pharmacies are notorious for poor customer service and we cannot be expected to take the time to oversee their operations. If there is a problem with the shipment, then you are responsible for dealing with them.
- The cost of any treatment due to product failure (including heartworm, flea, and intestinal parasite prevention) is your financial responsibility.