What's the difference between "veterinarian only" and "prescription only" medications?
Veterinary-only drugs like Rimadyl, Trifexis, and Heartgard are not only “prescription-only” medications, they are also “veterinarian-only” medications, according to the manufacturer. This is important to us here at CRAH because usually the manufacturer will not honor any satisfaction guarantees or warranties regarding adverse reactions when the medications are bought from a third party who is not a veterinarian, such as an online pharmacy. Our clients, however, will often say we are trying to protect our own profits by selling these products at our hospital exclusively, which simply isn’t true. There is little, if any, profit for the veterinary hospital on the sale of these products today. We want our patients to not only use these medications safely, but to also use only medications that are covered by the manufacturer’s full warranty. This is why we do not offer to write or fax prescriptions for veterinary-only products, and we require our clients to sign a release form and personally pick up the written prescription from us when they request it.
A “prescription-only” drug that is not a “veterinary-only” medication, like many antibiotics for example, are backed by the manufacturers warranty at any pharmacy because they are legally supplied to that pharmacy directly, and we are happy to write a prescription and fax it to the pharmacy for these items without hesitation. in fact, our clients can sometimes save money getting their antibiotics at a low cost pharmacy, and we are happy to help them with this when it’s appropriate.
Why all the fuss over “veterinary-only” medications? Well, typically the manufacturers of products labeled “veterinary-only” have determined in their testing and product development that these products pose enough risk to pets when used incorrectly that they must only be prescribed by a licensed veterinarian, and even the handling and distribution of the product must be done by a licensed veterinarian at a veterinary hospital. Again, this determination was made by the manufacturer, not the veterinarian who is prescribing it to you.
At Cleveland Road, our veterinarians are happy to openly discuss any medication we are prescribing for your pet, so never hesitate to ask any questions you may have about the prescription. Remember, our goal is always to provide the best care for your best friend at the best price, guaranteed!