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JoAnna Lou
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Counterfeit Meds
Unregulated companies sell repackaged pet health products
Be careful when buying pet medication online.

The internet is my favorite place to shop because of the unbeatable deals on everything from books to pet supplies. The trade-off is that you don’t get to see the products you’re buying in person and the companies selling these products are largely unregulated.

For years, the sale of counterfeit pet medicine has been a problem, leading the FDA to advise only buying pet medication from reputable companies. Misleading claims, false packaging and inauthentic medicine can lead to improper use and even health complications. 

This week retailer, Petspace LLC, agreed to pay a penalty to the United States to settle allegations that it sold repackaged Frontline Plus on eBay. The online sale of the non-prescription flea and tick preventative has become so popular that the EPA has guidelines on how to spot counterfeit packaging on its website.

I buy all of my prescription medicine through my veterinarian (or at my local pharmacy), but I do buy Frontline Plus online. Since the topical medication is applied year round, in a multiple dog household, the cost adds up fast.

Where do you buy your pets’ medicine?

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by Melody.loves.you/flickr.

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Submitted by Lisa Wogan | October 1 2010 |

The FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine has created a brochure, Protect Yourself and Your Pets: Be A.W.A.R.E., to help online consumers protect themselves and their pets when purchasing animal medications online.

Submitted by Frances | October 2 2010 |

I use Frontline Combo, which is a POM in the UK. There is very little difference in prices once the cost of a prescription is added in, so I buy from my vet. For non-prescription items I use one of the more reputable online pharmacy sites - and occasionally eBay as long as they are clearly in original, tamper proof packaging!

Submitted by colddonkey | October 16 2010 |

I often see Frontline and/or Advantage on Craigslist for really great deals but force myself to refrain for fear of getting what I've paid for. (aka counterfeit)

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