Is it safe to get prescribed pet medications from 1-800-PET-MEDS?
June 17, 2013 7:36 AM   Subscribe

Hello Hive Mind My basic question is this. Is it safe to purchase presciption pet medications from 1-800-PET-MEDS?

I tried Googling for this information and have seen conflicting answers, and I asked my vet about it and they wouldn't say either way as they don't know where PET MEDS gets their products.

We have been using them for several years for heartworm and flea/tick treatments, and those items seem identical to what the vet sells, but, now our little guy needs some heart and water pills for the rest of his life, and PET-MEDS offers them at a lesser price than the vet. But I am hesitant to order such important medication if there is a chance that the quality is not there. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
posted by Hanuman1960 to Pets & Animals (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have ordered from them many times with no problems. Not aware of any reason to think they are shady in any way.
posted by spilon at 7:55 AM on June 17, 2013

I doubt anyone here can tell you where PET MEDS sources their products.

But if anecdata makes you feel any better, I have a cat with an autoimmune disease who requires two medications, and I've been getting both from PET MEDS for years. No problems with getting the prescriptions filled and no apparent problems with the quality of the meds.

These particular meds are absolutely critical to my cute little bugger Schroedinger's quality and length of life, and I have no qualms about buying from PET MEDS. (See how nice and pink his ears are? That's because his skin isn't eating itself anymore, because they sell us good meds.)

If you'd be more comfortable with a compounding pharmacy that makes the meds in-house we used to use Veterinary Pharmacies of America at our vet's recommendation to make interferon. I seem to recall their prices were decent, and I was always happy with their service.

Also, are these meds that are in human use too? If so, you might price-check a regular pharmacy with a AAA card. Strange as it sounds, the AAA prescription discount also applies to pet meds (or at least did a few years ago). With that, it may be that a human pharmacy selling you human meds with an AAA discount could be the cheapest way to go. You're going to run into pharmacy techs who don't know this and/or have no idea how to enter a cat into their records, so go on a day when you have some time, bring a print-out from the AAA site about the discount applying to pets, and be prepared to talk to a manager.

Hi, my name is Stacey and I know a lot about pet prescriptions.
posted by Stacey at 8:01 AM on June 17, 2013 [4 favorites]

Our vet basically told us that 1-800-PET-MEDS is not a veterinarian, and their source of products is unknown, so there could be a quality-control issue.
In reality, it's really an issue of "If something goes wrong, would you rather be able to go back to the vet, or try and get in contact with a corporate customer service department?"
posted by jozxyqk at 8:01 AM on June 17, 2013

I am also not sure about 1-800-PET-MEDS, but if they are in human use, as Stacey says, you can often get them elsewhere. I get one of my dog's prescriptions at Costco, and it's significantly cheaper.
posted by needlegrrl at 8:10 AM on June 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

Vets sometimes raise quality-control issues to keep business for themselves. It scares the owners and the myths continue. Horrible but true. I've never had a single problem ordering pet meds from a variety of online business, including 1-800-Pet-meds.
posted by barnone at 9:08 AM on June 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

We get our beagle's heart medication at the WalMart pharmacy, and have for 8 years. CVS is our normal pharmacy of choice, but for some reason WalMart is significantly cheaper for that particular drug.
posted by COD at 9:08 AM on June 17, 2013

People love their animals (often more than themselves). If there were problems with the Meds from Pet Meds it would be all over the news and the internet. I'd say you are safe.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:08 AM on June 17, 2013

Vets do not want you buying medication elsewhere. They may even refuse to send in a prescription (our former vet would not fax one in). They want you paying more at their counter. I sympathize that vetting is a crappy-margin business, but if there was actually a quality problem with 1-800-PET-MEDS someone would have burned the place down by now.

But as others have said, certain common generics may be $4-20 at your local drugstore.

I am fairly certain that PET MEDS lists their manufacturers, though. That's "where it comes from".
posted by Lyn Never at 9:56 AM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

I get our flea and tick meds from 1800 pet meds, and the glucosamine from Costco, but the heart guard from the vet... mostly because I didn't want to deal with sending in the prescription, I keep meaning to though because I have no issues with their "sourcing" but I'm lazy.
posted by katers890 at 6:24 PM on June 17, 2013

My vet price matches w/ petmeds, so you might see if yours does something like that.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:20 PM on June 22, 2013

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