Recently we have heard from members who have encountered potentially unlawful practices related to pharmacies. Remember, if you believe you are seeing illegal pharmacies practices, you can elect to fill out AVMA’s complaint form and submit it (or your state’s complaint form if available) to your state board of pharmacy and other authorities. You can also send it to AVMA for our archiving purposes.
But it’s not always clear whether a website’s services are lawful or not, and this has led to some new questions by members. For example, one apparently new model that has been identified by members is a “broker” type service, wherein a client can search for a drug and locate a nearby retail pharmacy that reportedly sells the product for a particularly low price if a certain coupon is presented by the client. However, members have shared with us that at the time of purchase, clients have reported that the actual drug cost was up to ten times higher than indicated on the broker’s website. We understand these types of complaints can be forwarded to your Attorney General’s office since they are out of the realm for board of pharmacy enforcement. However, if it appears a retail pharmacy itself is a part of a scam, then it can also be reported to the state board of pharmacy.
Resources that can help you and your clients assess pharmacies include examining a pharmacy’s state licensure status with the state board of pharmacy, utilizing an FDA handout on internet pharmacies, and viewing the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s website, part of which contains a page titled Not Recommended Websites. Additional information on pharmacy issues can also be found in our FAQs by Veterinarians about Prescriptions and Pharmacies.