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Buying Sentinel Online Vs. Vet Office

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The price of Sentinel has been creeping up over the past few years. Initially I bought it at the vet's office. Then in the past year I ordered through the vet's office online connection, VetCentric. (Now nearly $184 for one year).

Recently I ordered the Sentinel through SmartPak with a (reluctant) prescription from my vet. (One year for $118). Vet made the comment that if my dogs got heartworms that Sentinel/Norvaris would not honor any claims for failing to protect because I did not purchase from an actual vet.

Has anyone heard this before?

Also, has Sentinel had a change in packaging? Both the box and the sealed wrap on the individual pills is a different color than previously purchased pills through my vet. (It's still definitely Sentinel, white, 51-100 lbs, expires 1/13).


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Guest suzye
Recently I ordered the Sentinel through SmartPak with a (reluctant) prescription from my vet. (One year for $118). Vet made the comment that if my dogs got heartworms that Sentinel/Norvaris would not honor any claims for failing to protect because I did not purchase from an actual vet.

Has anyone heard this before?

I've heard that and I ignored it. I purchase from EntirelyPets dot com. I get a coupon every month in my email for what probably amounts to about $3 and the current price on Sentinel 6 month 51-100 lb is $66.99.


For what it's worth, my dog already had heartworms (as a stray before I got her), and she's too old and sick now to be treated again, so payment for treatment is not an issue. That said, I don't think I will be changing my practice for a new dog. It sounds like a catch-all way of getting out of responsibilty for any internet seller that may turn out to be shady and selling product that's expired or kept in improper conditions or something. I'm really not sure. It's aggravating because there is no other "legitimate" seller that doesn't charge a ridiculously high price.

Edited by suzye
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What your vet told you is true. If your dog gets heartworm disease, the drug companies will not stand by teh product you purchased if you bought it on-line. The issue is wiht appropriate storage and shipping that may affect effectiveness of the product. Some less reputable companies have also bought drugs not approved by teh FDA and sold them as if they were.


Best case scenario is ask your vet if you can price match. Then you get on-line prices but get the safety of buying at your vet. If they won't price match then you have to decide on your own the best course. Plenty of posters here buy online and don't seem to have a problem but we did have an owner in our practice that purchased HW prevention online and her dog turned up positive a year later.


I tell all my friends/relatives/etc. not to buy online.


Novartis Animal Health Files Suit Against PetMed Express


GREENSBORO, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 19, 2002--Citing numerous violations, including trademark infringement and false advertising, Novartis Animal Health US, Inc. has filed a lawsuit against PetMed Express Inc., Drs. Fosters & Smith, Inc., and Savemax, Inc., online retailers of pet-care products.

The suit challenges those retailers' unlawful sale of foreign versions of pet medicines sold under the SENTINEL®(lufenuron/milbemycin oxime) FLAVOR TABS®and INTERCEPTOR®(milbemycin oxime) FLAVOR TABS®brands.

"We felt compelled to take legal action in order to protect the integrity of our products," said Jim Guidone, CEO of Novartis Animal Health US. "The unlawful actions of PetMed Express, Savemax, and Drs. Fosters & Smith undermine the expertise and authority of veterinarians. They are also likely to confuse our customers and may cause them to give their pets incorrect doses of these important medicines," Guidone pointed out.

According to the complaint, which was filed on March 19, 2002 with the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Novartis Animal Health US alleges that PetMed Express and the other defendants are illegally selling pet medications in the United States that were made specifically for the Australian and other foreign markets. These foreign medicines are not approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for sale in the United States. In fact they are materially different from Novartis Animal Health US products in a number of ways, including in the formulation of the products and in their instructions for use. The sale of these foreign medicines in the United States is an express violation of United States drug laws.

Novartis Animal Health US, which dispenses its products only where there is a valid veterinarian-client relationship, believes that pet owners are confusing the foreign medications sold by PetMed Express and the other defendants with the FDA-approved products sold by Novartis Animal Health US and its authorized distributors in the United States.

Furthermore, although the products have similar packaging, the foreign medicines do not indicate that they must be prescribed by a veterinarian, do not have valid poison control numbers, and lack information on how consumers can contact Novartis Animal Health US with questions. They are also missing many of the statements required by FDA rules and regulations for pet medicines sold in the United States.

"We believe that this lawsuit against PetMed Express is in the best interest of both veterinarians and pet owners across America, as well as the companion animals we strive to protect," Guidone stressed. "We are looking forward to a swift and fair resolution to this matter," he added.

Novartis Animal Health US produces and sells leading brands of pet medicines in the United States. These products, including INTERCEPTOR® (milbemycin oxime) FLAVOR TABS® and SENTINEL® (milbemycin oxime - lufenuron) FLAVOR TABS®, are approved by the FDA and can only be purchased by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (source: EPA notification)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the settlement of an administrative enforcement action against Petmed Express, Inc., Pompano Beach, Florida for allegedly selling misbranded foreign-labeled versions of the popular flea-control products, Advantage and Frontline. EPA contended that such activities constituted violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

While not admitting the alleged violations, Petmed Express, Inc., formerly known as petmedexpress.com, agreed to pay a penalty of $100,000 and to properly dispose of mislabeled products placed under a stop sale order by the EPA….

-0- January 23, 2002

PRESS CONTACT: Wesley Lambert, EPA Media Relations, 404-562-8316

Florida Board of Pharmacy disciplines PetMed Express, Savemax

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association June 1, 2002

On April 16, the Florida Department of Health's Board of Pharmacy reached an agreement with PetMed Express Inc. whereby the company accepted penalties but did not admit guilt…The company was also charged with selling drugs not approved by the Food and Drug Administration….For some Florida Board of Pharmacy members, the April 16 proceedings had a déjà vu quality. The board disciplined PetMed Express in 1999 for distributing drugs to clients who did not have prescriptions for them. The company was also charged with various advertising violations as well as with failing to keep a complete and accurate record of controlled substances, to maintain a daily hard copy of dispensed prescriptions, and to label prescriptions appropriately…

In 1999, the company and its pharmacist settled 56 cases out of court. The penalties included paying investigative costs and a $32,500 fine, attending a continuing education course on pharmacy law, undergoing two years of semiannual inspections, and submitting quarterly pharmacy reports for 30 months.

…On April 16, the Board of Pharmacy formally charged PetMed Express with 36 cases involving 80 counts, including 33 counts of making deceptive, misleading, untrue, or fraudulent representations or employing a trick or scheme in, or related to, the practice of a profession. Thirty counts involved selling or dispensing drugs without a proper prescription….But these were just the cases that the board had time to formally charge the company with—the agency has, in fact, received over a hundred complaints. "I have been on the board for five years and I have never seen this many cases [brought against one company]," Stamitoles said.

Through the Florida stipulation, PetMed Express Inc. agreed to three years of probation, random pharmacy inspections, and community service in the form of providing free pharmaceutical services to the public. The company also agreed to dismantle the alternate veterinarian program and pay a fine and investigative costs. (See PetMed Express Inc.: The Verdict). Similar cases that occurred prior to the final ruling will be dismissed….An original clause that allowed PetMed Express to file for early termination of probation after one year was shot down. "A one-year probation for a hundred and something cases ... it's unacceptable," Stamitoles balked….

In addition to PetMed Express, the Florida Department of Health's Board of Pharmacy reached an agreement with Savemax Inc., which also accepted penalties but did not admit guilt. At the time of the hearing, Savemax was located at the same address as PetMed Express and was charged with violating a Florida law that dictates that a pharmacy permit be issued only to a single entity at a single location. Savemax was also charged with dispensing prescriptions that were not signed by a veterinarian who had examined an animal and with not maintaining certain required records….


Bayer wins legal actions against sales policy violators

Bayer HealthCare LLC's Animal Health Division recently won two battles against unauthorized sellers of its Advantage (imidacloprid) topical solution.

Bayer filed two lawsuits after learning that Nagrom Inc. and Lemos Feed & Pet Supply Inc., wholesalers of pet supplies, were advertising and selling foreign-diverted Advantage directly to pet owners in the United States. Because Bayer sells Advantage exclusively through authorized and licensed veterinarians, it argued that the sale by Nagrom and Lemos Feed & Pet Supply violated its sales policy.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas has barred Nagrom from selling foreign-diverted Advantage products. The court held that there were considerable differences between Advantage products sold by Negrom and those sold through veterinarians. Those sold by Negrom lack U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registration, fail to comply with federal and state labeling laws, and lack the quality control measures that Bayer provides for its U.S. products.

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California entered an order permanently restraining Lemos Feed & Pet Supply from purchasing, selling, or distributing foreign-diverted Advantage. If the company violates the order, it will be fined $100,000.

"These wins are another step in the ongoing fight to stop the illegal sale and distribution of Advantage," said Jeff Gaidos, vice president of marketing, North America, Bayer HealthCare LLC, Animal Health Division.

"We will continue to take appropriate legal action against those who violate our sales policy, because we are committed to protecting veterinarians, pet owners, and pets."

In addition to legal action, Bayer has created industry programs such as Partner with the Profession to address product diversion and sales. This program uses inventory management, tracking, and distribution capabilities to help ensure that products are sold exclusively by veterinarians, not by third parties.

Besides foreign-diverted Advantage, Bayer has also taken a leadership role in protecting the industry and consumers by working closely with the EPA and the AVMA to stop the distribution and sale of counterfeit Advantage. More than a year ago, Bayer initiated a meeting with the EPA, which conducted an investigation in collaboration with Bayer, and resulted in EPA's decision to order retailers and distributors in a number of states to stop selling counterfeit products that falsely contained EPA registration numbers and labeling.



Bella and Sky at the bridge

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." -Anabele France


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Guest shayla

I too ignored it. One Vet said that because it came from Canada that they couldn't guarantee the product. I asked him if that meant that all the Canadian dogs get heartworm because they use this product? He mumbled something and left the room. ;)

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Guest KennelMom

Dr. Feeman is right that the manufacturer won't back a product sold by an internet seller - and with good reason, IMO. There is no way for them to know if the product sold is counterfeit or stored improperly or expired and relabeled. At least with licensed veterinarians, they are dealing with professionals that have been trained in handling/storing/dispensing meds and are morally and ethically obligated by their profession not to do anything underhanded like sell counterfeit goods. Not to mention, if everyone stops buying meds, including HW, from their vets to save a few bucks buying online the vet office will just have to mark up their other services to make up the difference. It's a six of one, half dozen of the other....


Because we have so many dogs (I'm waiting for them to start construction on the Vaughn Wing of their practice :lol ) our vet has no problem calling in prescriptions to pharmacys (even those with a web presence) if they can't price match or get close to a price match - but I'd say we still buy the majority of our meds directly from them. It's easier, more convenient and supports my vet's practice. But, we're getting ready to flagyl and panacur all the dogs and it was cheaper to have our vet call in the RX to a pharmacy b/c we need so much of each med - he actually suggested we do it that way!


I think we did traditional, pill-form Heartguard/Iverhart purchased from our vet up until our 10th dog or so. If I only had a couple dogs, it'd be a no brainer - it's just not worth it to find the cheapest possible price on something that's so dang important (and relatively inexpensive to begin with).


If I bought a heartworm prevention online that was different looking, different shaped or had different packaging that what I was used to, I wouldn't use it. It could just be manufactured/packaged differently for another country...but is it worth risking my dog turning up HW positive to find out? Nope.

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My vet does not sell Sentinel so I buy it through Doctors Fostors and Smith with a prescription from my vet.



Edited because I cannot type this morning- have not had my diet Coke this am.

Edited by Maddiesmom

Amy Human Mommy to fur baby Maddie (Doobiesaurus) TDI certified. May 5, 2002-September 12, 2014 and Mille (Mac's Bayou Baby)CGC, TDI certified.


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I buy mine from a registered pet pharmacy--I would think they're as legitimate as any other place that legally dispenses prescription meds? There really should be a difference between a registered pharmacy and some CheapPetStuff.com retailer...I hope!




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