Patients with certain cancers treated with Avastin (bevacizumab) know that their cancer is serious. They may not necessarily be expecting a cure, but they are certainly hoping for improvement, at least in the form of tumor shrinkage.
They hope the treatment will buy some time.
They also know the medicine is expensive, costing doctors approximately $2000.00 for a 400 mg. vial. Add to that the cost of administration, monitoring and treatment of side effects, the cost is substantial.
So, it’s hard to blame doctors when they were offered a source for the drug at a 25% discount, which they could pass on to their strapped and suffering patients.
Except that the bargain turned out to be no bargain at all, because there was no bevacizumab in the vials.
And, before you think this is a terrorist plot hatched in some Middle East country, think again. The mailing address for the supplier is in Belgrade, Montana.
Avastin is not used in animals, but there is still a lesson for pet owners in this story.
Be careful of the source of your pets’ medications.
Online pharmacies have sprung up all over the globe. The track record of some “pharmacies” below the equator is abominable. Some of the domestic online and catalogue pharmacies don’t do too well, either.
Obtaining heartworm preventive and other medications from your veterinarian may cost you more, mostly because his volume is minuscule, but the risk of getting “fake” or “no” medication from him is very small, too. Most of us purchase our heartworm preventives directly from manufacturers such as Pfizer Animal Health (Revolution), (see a fake Revolution box by clicking here [The fake box is the top one]) Elanco (Trifexis), Novartis Animal Health (Interceptor and Sentinel) and Merial (Heartgard).
Some medications are obtained through “distributors,” but even in those cases our practice utilizes huge companies such as Butler Schein Animal Health.
These deadly tricksters are motivated only by greed.
They don’t care who dies.
And, if they don’t care about your wife, child or grandmother, they sure won’t hesitate to allow your dog or cat to die from heartworms or some equally horrible disease.
See you next week, Dr. Randolph.