Why Won't my Vet Authorize Medicine From an Online Pharmacy?

 |  Aug 19th 2009  |   1 Contribution


I am troubled. I am VERY pregnant, and I prefer to give my dogs Sentinel because that means that I don't have to touch their liquid flea preventative. I give them one pill for heartworms AND fleas, and it's a little more expensive than either, but less expensive than buying BOTH.

My vet doesn't carry Sentinel, so I order it online. My question has to do with the rigamarole I go through every single time I order. My vet REFUSES to authorize the order, even though I had to give my dogs a hearworm test at my vet's to order the meds online. Every time I order I get declined, I have to call my vet, call the online store, it takes forever.

I'm not sure who to blame, is it the online store who isn't keeping the authorization on file? Is it my vet, who declines the authorization every time I order? If my vet sold this medicine, I'd buy it there, so I don't understand why they make this so hard for me every single time.

Laura
Hattiesburg, MS

Why are you having so much trouble? That's a question only your vet can answer.

Maybe he doesn't trust the pharmacy to dispense the proper medication with proper instructions and is therefore reluctant to authorize prescriptions. I have had serious problems with one of the large internet pharmacies in this regard.

Maybe your vet doesn't want to lose revenue to the internet pharmacy. Well managed veterinary practices do not generate a significant portion of income from medication sales. However, most veterinary practices are poorly managed, and such facilities may be loath to provide business to online outlets.

Maybe, as you suggest, your vet is authorizing the prescriptions in a timely manner and clerical errors at the internet pharmacy are to blame for your troubles. I have experienced major headaches trying to authorize prescriptions with a leading internet pharmacy. I authorize the prescription, and then two days later receive a fax stating that the company is still waiting for my response. Such problems do not inspire faith in that pharmacy's ability to fill prescriptions accurately.

You have several options. You could try a different internet pharmacy to see if that helps with the problems. You could request a written prescription from your vet (most states require vets, when asked, to offer written prescriptions in lieu of selling products from their pharmacies). Ask that the prescription be valid for a full year's supply of Sentinel, and then fax the prescription to the pharmacy yourself.

Alternatively, you could call your vet and ask, directly but politely, what is going on. And finally, although you didn't hear this from me, you could get a new vet. The choice is yours.

Photo: Tom Varco.

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