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Beware of Pet Drug Fraud


Having a pet and taking care of them properly can be time consuming and expensive. We all want our furry friends to remain healthy and happy, so we do what we can to make that happen.

One way we can cut corners is purchasing prescriptions online. However this may not be the way to save. You may end up saving money and losing your companion. Economic times are hard and we will be tempted to find where costs can be reduced. If you do decide to take this route do so with extreme caution.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) which was founded in 1904, is an impartial professional organization that supports the state boards of pharmacy in protecting public health. They have some great information for you to consider before popping that “cheap” pill in your pets mouth.

In 2009, NABP created a voluntary accreditation program called Vet-VIPPS (Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites). To receive the accreditation a site must be appropriately licensed in the state from which they ship medications, have successfully completed a review and online survey, undergo yearly re-accreditation, and undergo NABP on-site surveys every three years.

It is a known fact that counterfeit pills sold online often contain too little or too much of the requested medication, the wrong medication altogether or harmful substances. Toxins such as glue, chalk, and rat poison are used by counterfeiters to make these pills. Drug counterfeiters do not care about your pet’s health; their goal is to make a profit. Some fake online pharmacies may even falsely claim to be Canadian to seem like a safe source for medicine. By some estimates, as much as 90% of the medication bought online may be fake.

When you find a pet prescription site look for the Vet-VIPPS seal and check the list of Vet-VIPPS pharmacies on the AWARxe website to make sure the site is listed there. These sites are in agreement with all federal and state regulations and NABP safety standards.

  • AWARxE advises pet owners and veterinarians to use Vet-VIPPS-accredited Internet pharmacies when they opt to order pet medications online, and to learn how to avoid fake Internet pharmacies selling dangerous counterfeit drugs.
  • NABP has reviewed more than 9,600 websites selling prescription drugs.
  • Only 3%, or 291, of these sites appear to be in compliance with state and federal laws and NABP patient safety and pharmacy practice standards.
  • The other 97% of these sites are considered rogue sites and are listed as Not Recommended on the AWARxE website.
  • “Discount pet drugs—no prescription required” may appeal to pet owners surfing the Web, but FDA (Food and Drug Administration) experts say it can be risky to buy drugs online from sites that tout this message and others like it.

Be aware that the strict rules and regulations set forth by the FDA do not apply to drugs being sold online by countries outside the United States.

We encourage you to share this information about Vet-VIPPS and the possible dangers associated with buying prescription drugs online with your friends and family.

If you venture out and decide to purchase online, do your homework to ensure the prescriptions are authentic and verify that the site does indeed have the stamp of approval from Vet-VIPPS.

Join us and “like” AWARxE on Facebook to help spread the word to stop this dangerous fraud!


About Author

Devoted pet owner and now, devoted pet editor, Judi worked in traditional offices, keeping the books and the day-to-day operations organized. Taking her dog to work every day for over a decade never seemed odd. Neither did having an office cat. She knows what it's like to train a new puppy and she's experienced the heartache of losing beloved companions. Retired, she currently lives with her spoiled dog and four chickens (who are, interestingly enough, also spoiled).


  1. The Environmental Protection Agency in the UK also has guidelines on telling the real from the fake are-

    1. Make sure the lot number on the retail carton you receive matches the lot number on the applicator package and/or the individual applicators.
    2. Make sure the instruction leaflet is included. It provides the following information: first-aid statements, including emergency telephone numbers, precautionary statements for humans and pets, directions for use, and storage and disposal statements.
    3. Make sure the actual product pipettes is contained in the child-resistant tubes. The directions for opening the child- resistant applicator package include an illustration that actually looks like the applicator package. The directions include “To remove applicator, use scissors or lift and remove plastic tab to expose foil, then pull down.”
    4. The legitimate applicator package has a notch between the individual applicator packages, which generally are absent on counterfeit products.
    5. Once you open the applicator package, each individual applicator has a label that includes the registrant’s name “Merial;”and the statements “CAUTION,” “Keep out of reach of children,” and “See full label for additional directions.”
    6. The applicator label for the products includes the size of the dog/ cat in on which the product is to be used.

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This post contains affiliate links, which means we earn a commission for sales referred from links on our site. We're also Amazon Associates, so we may earn from those qualifying purchases, too. Learn more!