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October 21st, 2003, 08:16 AM #1
- Join Date
- January 17th, 2005
Looks like the vets are bitting back!!
Practitioners lash out against PetMed Express August 2003
Dr. Elizabeth Curry-Galvin
Schaumburg, Ill.-The nation's largest Internet/mail-order pet pharmacy claims to have cleaned up its act, but veterinarians allege that despite fines and warnings, PetMed Express's new sales tactics are infuriating and damaging, if not illegal.
Practitioners are so incensed some are considering class action lawsuits charging the embattled company with slander, fraud and deception. While company executives insist they no longer payroll DVMs to script out drugs for unexamined pets, they admit sending clients complaint forms when prescriptions are denied, conference calling veterinarians with clients on the line and faxing what some view as threatening language to force an OK on regulated products. Even PetMed Express commercials advocate rogue activity, says Dr. Elizabeth Curry-Galvin, assistant director of scientific activities for the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
"The commercials alone intimate that a veterinary exam is an unnecessary nuisance," Curry-Galvin says. "The AVMA is greatly concerned that these tactics undermine the veterinary-client-patient relationship."
Florida Board of Pharmacy disciplines PetMed Express, Savemax
Internet pharmacies given another chance
and...in again in New Mexico
and again in...Louisiana
Louisiana Pharmacy Board Disciplines Petmed Express
Informal conferences were conducted by the Violations Committee of the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy (Board) on November 28, 2001, and again on March 6, 2002 at the Board office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with Alison Bergis, attorney for Petmed Express, Inc. The conferences were called related to Complaint No. 01-0058 “regarding dispensing of a veterinary medication to Jamie Sulton for her dog ‘Belle’ in April of 2001” and Complaint No. 01-0127 “regarding dispensing of a veterinary medication to Janis Bland for her dog ‘Brandy’ in August of 2001.”
Petmed Express entered a plea of no lo contendere to the cited violations, in exchange for which the Board agreed to dismiss any and all other complaints received by the Board against Petmed Express as of March 6, 2002. A Consent Agreement was signed, agreed to and entered on March 28, 2002, in which Petmed Express agreed to the following:
(1) The permit of Petmed Express (Permit No. 4338) is placed on probation for five (5) years, beginning May 10, 2002, and ending May 9, 2007, subject to the following special conditions of probation: Petmed Express is not to violate any federal, state or local laws or regulations relating to the practice of pharmacy;
(2) Petmed Express further agrees that should it be found guilty, after notice and opportunity to be heard as provided by law, of violating any condition of probation, said violation occurring during the probationary period, its permit in the State of Louisiana will be suspended;
(3) In Report No. 01-0058, Petmed Express agrees to pay a fine of $5,000 and to reimburse the Board administrative costs of $500.00 and investigative costs of $297.50, for total payment due the Board of $5,797.50, to be paid simultaneously with the execution of the Consent Agreement by Petmed Express;
(4) In Report No. 01-0127, Petmed Express agrees to pay a fine of $5,000 and to reimburse the Board administrative costs of $500.00 and investigative costs of $540.48, for total payment due the Board of $6,040.48, to be paid simultaneously with the execution of the Consent Agreement by Petmed Express.
The Consent Agreement was approved by a formal meeting of the Board on May 9, 2002.
Florida Board Disciplines Well-Known Internet Pharmacies
On Tuesday April 16, 2002, the Florida Board of Pharmacy disciplined Pet Med Express, Inc. and Savemax, Inc. of Pompano Beach, Florida. Company pharmacists Gordon Gyor, Gary Koesten, Richard Schwartz, and Martin Wiederkehr were also disciplined.
The reasons for the discipline included the contracting of veterinarians to write prescriptions without examining the animal and dispensing drugs not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
AVMA representatives (observers), Florida Veterinary Medical Association representatives, and a Journal of the AVMA news reporter were in attendance.
In all, sixty-two cases were investigated. The Board's counsel expressed that prosecution-related charges would substantially increase if the cases were handled singularly, so stipulation agreements were developed for each company and pharmacist. Key stipulation content follows:
Pet Med Express, Inc. (license # PH 14144)
* Shall not purchase, dispense, or distribute any drugs that are not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
* Shall not knowingly fill, dispense, or distribute medication for prescriptions written by veterinary physicians who have not physically examined the animal for whom the prescription is written.
* Shall immediately terminate its alternate veterinarian program, to the extent Pet Med Express employs or contracts with veterinarians to write prescriptions for medication when the veterinarian has not physically examined the animal for whom the prescription is written.
* Shall pay an administrative fine of $40,000 to the Florida Department of Health within 90 days.
* Shall reimburse the Department for investigation and prosecution costs totaling $27,799 within 1 year.
* Shall be placed on a 3-year probationary period. During this period:
Pet Med Express shall have its pharmacy inspected quarterly by a representative of the Board of Pharmacy. Inspections shall be random and unannounced, and paid for by Pet Med Express.
Prescription Department Manager, Richard Schwartz, shall successfully complete 12 hours of CE on the laws and rules governing the practice of pharmacy in Florida within 1 year. CEO Menderes Akdag must also complete 12 hours of laws and rules training.
Pet Med Express shall perform 200 hours of community service in the form of providing free pharmaceutical services to the public within 3 years. Pet Med Express' plan must be pre-approved by the Board chair, or its designee.
* Shall not violate Chapter 456, 465, 499, and/or 893, Florida Statutes, the rules promulgated pursuant thereto, or any other state or federal law, rule, or regulation relating to the practice or to the ability to practice pharmacy.
* Violation of the terms of the stipulation is grounds for disciplinary action.
* All pending, related cases where the complaint arises from alleged actions or complaints that occurred prior to this stipulation shall be dismissed.
October 21st, 2003, 08:48 AM #2
- Join Date
- January 17th, 2005
More problems at linkshare. What's new.
So when are we getting paid for the funds that are owed to us there stephen? Or did you forget about that allready cause it's not that important to you.
October 22nd, 2003, 07:03 AM #3
- Join Date
- January 17th, 2005
I hope they are still solvent when this mess gets sorted out...
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