A pet dog or cat can bring happiness and joy into your life. But it’s important for pet parents to take care of their pets. This means not only providing them with high-quality pet food but also ensuring that you choose the correct and authentic medicines to prevent any health issues.
Unfortunately, modern-day illegal counterfeiting networks are aiming at veterinary medicines globally, which has severe consequences for animal welfare and health. This is an acute problem today, with at least one out of every ten pet owners falling victim to scams and purchasing false pet medications online.
The obvious issues resulting from this include dangers to farm animals, zoo animals, and the authenticity of the food supply chain. It is necessary to find a solution to these problems. In this article, we will delve into the potential dangers of fake pet medicines and discuss how to shop for medicines online safely.
The Challenges in Animal Medicine Market
It’s necessary to note that the animal and human pharmaceutical markets are very different from each other. Unfortunately, counterfeit pet meds target these differences. Animal medicine is intricate and needs various administration processes that can have an impact.
That aside, the private market is extremely fragmented, and fraudsters can take advantage of supply chain weaknesses. This occurs when counterfeit drugs are sold via less trustworthy online pharmacies or the ‘gray market.’ Here, counterfeiters exploit loopholes to introduce counterfeit, fake, and low-quality medicines into the market. By doing so, they weaken reliable manufacturers, resulting in significant losses.
According to an assessment, the total value of the counterfeit medicine trade can be approximately $1 billion, which accounts for 3% of the value of the authentic veterinary market.
The Dangers of Counterfeit Pet Medication
A primary issue with counterfeit pet medicines is that when inadequate doses or ineffective drugs are used to treat pets, it can result in antimicrobial resistance in humans and animals. This is considered to be an acute threat to human life by 2050.
Faulty medications also erode faith in genuine manufacturers and lead to massive economic losses. They can expand the number of customers who unknowingly use subpar medicines for their pets.
Additionally, there are several trade and regulatory barriers to developing new animal drugs. The financial losses suffered by manufacturers can lessen investments in the development of new medicines, thereby posing a risk in the animal world.
Some of the pet medicines that are often counterfeited include NSAIDs such as Deramaxx (deracoxib), Rimadyl (carprofen), Metacam (meloxicam), and Previcox (firocoxib).
How To Order Pet Medicines Safely Online?
As a pet owner, you need to ensure that the pet meds you obtain for your furry friend are safe and authentic. Here are a few tips that can help:
- Always ask your veterinarian if they are aware of any websites you intend to use.
- Watch out for red flags, such as websites that don’t require a prescription or don’t provide a phone number or address. Another cautionary sign could be the absence of a pharmacist to address your queries.
- Make sure to check the site’s accreditation, like Vet-VIPPS.
- It is essential to discuss suspicious online pharmacies. Report any problems to the manufacturers and then to the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA.
- Keep yourself updated about online pharmacies.
PetRx states that reputable players in this field always require users to register on their website. This means that before purchasing any medicine, users need to provide their email address, name, phone number, mailing address, and various other details to ensure a secure experience. Leading names scan their websites daily to identify and resolve security vulnerabilities, ensuring a safe browsing experience for users.
Signs of Counterfeit Pet Medicines
Pet parents need to be able to detect faulty medicines to avoid fraud. Here are a few signs that can help you recognize counterfeit medicines:
- Instructions are not provided in English.
- There are weight differences between the outer packaging and the product inside.
- The product lacks child-resistant packaging.
- No directions are mentioned for use.
- Stickers in the medicine box cover foreign labeling.
- The product is not suitable for the animal depicted on the packaging.
- There is no P.A. registration number.
Hence, when you buy pet medicines online, you need to carefully inspect all the packaging labels, expiration dates, instructions, package inserts, and other details before giving them to your pet.
Today, counterfeit pet medicines are cleverly packaged to make it difficult for users to discern whether the product is genuine or not. Therefore, pet owners must be vigilant about the websites from which they purchase medications.
In addition to watching for signs that may indicate a potentially fraudulent website, it is also important to read customer reviews about the website. This provides ample information and facilitates making an informed purchasing decision.