Online Program

Analysis of online veterinary pharmacy regulations in the United States

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 2:50 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Meghana V. Aruru, PhD, MBA., BPharm, Department of Clinical, Administrative and Social Sciences, Roosevelt University College of Pharmacy, Schaumburg, IL
Melissa Hogan, PharmD, College of Pharmacy, Roosevelt University, Schaumburg, IL
Veterinary pharmacy is a specialized area of practice. The FDC Act requires prescription orders for veterinary prescription medicines. Online veterinary pharmacies have grown considerably and issues of safety and efficacy of medications are of increasing concern. This is particularly true for rogue pharmacies and pharmacies operating beyond their scope of practice/jurisdiction. In response, the NABP and FDA created programs to identify trustworthy online pharmacies. Methods: This study analyzed regulations for online veterinary pharmacies and explored agencies – federal, state, local for their roles in enforcement and regulation in the context of collaborations, manpower and policy recommendations. Results: Online pharmacies are loosely regulated primarily through State Boards of Pharmacy. However, state-by-state regulations vary considerably. While, most state regulations include compounding and online pharmacies in their language,they may not be held to the same standards as regular pharmacies. The FDA and DEA have limited jurisdiction and there is little action forthcoming from either agency. Discussion: Agencies governing online pharmacies have varying and sometimes conflicting regulations with little enforcement in past years. While the NABP's VIPPS, Vet-VIPPS and the FDA AWARE programs are helpful towards identifying legitimate pharmacies; issues of medication procurement, handling, storage, transportation should be addressed to safeguard animal health. Conclusion: Online pharmacies must be subject to the same rigor and standards as regularly operating pharmacies. Policies and regulations from State Boards of Pharmacy, FDA and DEA need to be revised with collaboration among these agencies toward ensuring the quality and safety of medications compounded and/or dispensed by pharmacies operating online.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Analyze regulations and enforcement for online veterinary pharmacies Evaluate federal, state, local agency roles toward enforcement and regulation for online veterinary pharmacies Identify gaps in regulation and discuss policy recommendations to safeguard animal health

Keyword(s): Health Care, Regulations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health professional concerned with and working in the areas of medication safety. I have written and presented over the years on online pharmacies and the dangers that counterfeiting poses toward human and animal health. In my capacity as an academic, I continually analyze policies that may pose dangers to the public's health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.