Prescriptions, Refill Requests, Return & Written Prescription Policies
At Carolina Animal Hospital, we take pride in being your furry family member's doctor and see our role as an integral part in providing healthcare to your pet. The primary focus of our practice is centered on offering a professional level of high quality Medical, Surgical and Dental care. In addition to these professional services, we do stock numerous forms of pharmaceuticals, vaccines and products for your pets.
We carry these items in our practice primarily for two reasons:
- Many items are animal specific formulations or for animal only usage - often these products aren't carried locally by traditional brick and mortar pharmacies and
- There is a convenience in having items readily available onsite rather than sending our clients to another location just to sit and wait for prescriptions to be filled elsewhere.
Carolina Animal Hospital takes measures to ensure the vaccines, medications and products we provide to our patients are properly handled and stored from initial manufacture until they reach our facility. The items we offer from our hospital supply are obtained either directly from their manufacturing source or via our relationships with selected major distributors which track these items to verify their integrity.
We will not provide prescription medications for patients when they have not been evaluated by our hospital. This means we do not fill medication requests for problems which have not been diagnosed by our doctors.
We can not fill prescription medications for animals which are not current patients of our animal hospital --even when those prescriptions are written by other veterinarians or veterinary hospitals. This would require a separate Pharmacy Dispensing License which veterinary hospitals generally do not possess. Although some veterinary practices may fill prescriptions for non-patients this is technically a violation of both Board of Pharmacy and Veterinary Medical Board statutes. We simply will not violate regulatory statues.
We will refill prescriptions on request provided we have recently examined your pet and the particular medication or product is appropriate based on the veterinarian's diagnosis. The time frame of 'recent examination' is at the doctor's discretion but will never exceed a maximum of one year from your pets' last annual examination.
If you require a refill on your pet's medication, we recommend you contact the office by telephone first to confirm we have the medication in stock rather than having to order it in from our supplier and to allow enough time for the staff to verify the refill is authorized by the Veterinarian and prepare the refill. Generally, special order medications or medications which have gone out of stock will usually take 24 hours (next day) to arrive at our facility from major suppliers.
We will not provide prescription refills for patients when they have not been evaluated by our hospital within the appropriate time frame deemed necessary by our veterinarian. This means we do not fill medication requests for problems which have not been diagnosed by our doctors.
We will not provide prescription refills for animals which are not current patients of our animal hospital - nor provide refills for animals which are patients of another animal hospital - even when those prescriptions are written by other veterinarians or veterinary hospitals.
No Returns For Refund Or 'Credit'
Veterinary Medical Board and Board of Pharmacy regulations prohibit the return and resale of pharmaceutical products once they have left the control of the Veterinarian. This is a basic safety issue and applies to pre-packaged prescription medications as well as loose pills or liquids.
Because we cannot - and will not - resell medications that have left the direct control of our hospital, we will not accept medications or 'returns' which have left our hospital premises.
For the same reasons, we do not offer 'credit' or refund for unused or unwanted medications once these medications have been dispensed to you.
Written Prescriptions Are Provided at Your Request
We're fully aware there are many internet sites and catalogue houses which sell pharmaceutical products directly to consumers. Contrary to slick print and television advertising marketing touting pet medications available at less than half the price from the veterinarian, this veterinary office generally offers full-sized packaged medications (Heartgard, Frontline, Revolution, Rimadyl) for similar prices - in fact, we might be even lower when company "bonus doses" or manufacturer rebates are taken into account.
It is our practice policy to provide written prescriptions to our clients at their request. We do not charge a fee for writing prescriptions for our patients. We do, however wish for your decision on where to have your pet's prescription filled to be an informed one, and feel it is part of our responsibility as your pet's doctor to advise you consider the following:
- We will provide a written prescription on request provided we have recently examined your pet and the particular medication or product is appropriate. The time frame of 'recent examination' is at the doctor's discretion but will never exceed a maximum of one year from your pets' last annual examination. The written prescription will be provided directly to you. You may request to pick it up or ask it be mailed to your home.
- If you choose internet or catalogue sources, we advise you to copy your script and mail them the original. We recommend this process for the same reason we will only provide written prescriptions to you on our script pads and why we do not respond to fax requests or telephone calls from internet or catalogue companies - We require our physical prescription form to be used so it can be traced back and authenticated in the event medication error, failure or reaction occurs.
- Please double check to ensure your prescription is sent, filled, labeled, shipped and used correctly. Carefully select your choice of pharmacy including thoroughly research for disciplinary board of pharmacy actions.
- Some guarantees made by manufacturers regarding their products are null and void (not honored) if their products are purchased through non-approved channels. This includes the guarantee reimbursement for heartworm / intestinal parasite claims if your pet contracts heartworms or specific parasites while on prevention.
- Some internet based pharmacies and catalogue companies have been repeatedly reprimanded by the FDA and State Boards of Pharmacy for violating prescribing procedure. Several well known companies have been cited and fined repeatedly for the same violations in the same states or several states!
- Pharmaceuticals manufactured and labeled for use in other countries (Australia, New Zealand) have been illegally diverted and sold through some internet sources and catalogues in the United States. In addition, counterfeit medications, preventatives and product have been produced and sold to unsuspecting consumers. The FDA-CVM has documented these problems with the use of some internet sources. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm048164.htm