Sunday, April 04, 2010

Counterfeit Advantage and Frontline a Problem

Counterfeit flea and tick control products for dogs and cats are becoming commonplace. They are very difficult to tell from legit product. Click the post title to go to an EPA site that gives hints on how to id fake product.

Since so many people buy so much product online now, counterfeiters of all kinds have emerged from the woodwork to try to cash in. Flea products are expensive so it is no wonder the market has attraction to counterfeiters and criminals.

A cat died at a local vet clinic after the owner purchased and used flea product from, the clinic told me, a popular online pet supply store. It was determined the product was counterfeit. These sites sometimes do not know their supplier purchased the product from counterfeiters. Counterfeit supplies get mingled into legit product before shipping, too.

Pharmaceutical counterfeiting has become big business. I watched a news story on drug gangs in Mexico, making fake Advil and Tylenol. What they used to make the pills from was totally disgusting, but I can't remember what it was. I do remember they used road line paint to coat the fake pills before they were packaged and sent off to be sold in the good ol pill popping US of A.

Also on the rise, pharmaceutical theft. Sometimes it is outright gun toting theivery at pharmacies. Many such events have been in the news lately here in Oregon. But on the news a week or so ago, was a huge theft at a drug warehouse. Massive amounts of drugs were stolen, to be resold on the black market to criminal suppliers, who then sell it to retailers, who usually have no clue it's stolen (or counterfeit).

However, some of the drugs taken needed refrigeration to remain potent. Once sold, these drugs, in that one warehouse burglary, caused some pain and suffering for diabetics, because the product did not work, due to improper storage by the theives. Diabetics were being hospitalized with destabilized blood sugar levels. The problem was traced to inactive medicine and finally to the thefts at the one warehouse.

Counterfeit products get into all sorts of supply chains and could even end up in a vet clinic. Know how to determine if a product is counterfeit, or at least, the best ways to try, because you can't always tell.

Recommendations for Advantage are to check the tube itself, since outside packaging and insert are usually the same. Make sure the tube is all in English, for one thing, not German or French. Also, EPA dosages by weight are NOT posted on the outside box of legit Advantage products nor is an expiration date. Anyhow, go to the website to check all the tips given, on both Frontline and Advantage, so you can know the most common ways to avoid counterfeit flea products for dogs and cats.

I have a very suspicious nature, and have poured over the boxes and tubes of Advantage I have purchased in the last year from two different online stores. Even though they do not have any of the problems listed with counterfeit product on the websites, I am still suspicious of one box in particular. Why? Because the tubes are not the same color as all the other tubes of that particular size Advantage, bought from another online merchant later on, and because the color stickers included, as reminders for monthly dosing, are green, instead of blue to match the color of the tube, like in the later box.

I bought that box online at kv vet and the more recent box at another online merchant. However, upon closer inspection, the latest box I bought is three years old, manufactured in 2007, which might explain the differences in tube color and sticker color. I won't purchase from the latter merchant again, selling old product like that.

I used to buy from Petshed, but quit when Advantage came with even the outer box in a foreign language, can't remember what language, but it wasn't English. I kept the box to report it, then accidentally recycled it.

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