Bayer says 1 in 10 pet owners think they have bought fake meds

Bayer Animal Health says a survey of 2,000 pet owners has found that around 10 per cent believe they have been conned into buying fake medicines.

The manufacturer of Seresto tick and flea control products said they survey also found that 87 per cent of owners had purchased pet medicine from sites that have been known to sell counterfeit products, “such as eBay and Wish.”

However, almost two-thirds (62 per cent) reported they could not distinguish real medicines from fake.

The survey was conducted on owners in the UK who had purchased a parasite treatment outside of the vet and online in the 12 months prior to July 2020, but the problem is worldwide.

In May, counterfeit copies of Seresto flea collars that could be hazardous were seized in Philadelphia by customs. They had been shipped from China and Hong Kong and were en route to addresses in the US.

“These pet owners had concerns about the authenticity of pet medicines that they’d ordered online in good faith, and on reporting the issue, received confirmation that the products they’d bought were indeed fake,” according to Bayer.

Purchasing a counterfeit medicine can cause a serious health risk to pets, and potentially the families that look after them, says Bayer.

“Unsurprisingly, of those pet owners who felt they had been duped by counterfeit goods, 42 per cent felt worried and 38 per cent upset.”

The company offers the following advice to pet owners looking to purchase products online:

  • Watch out for inconsistencies in packaging and design – sometimes old or incorrect pack shots may be used, so always double check on the brand’s own website what the product should look like;
  • Be aware of huge cost savings of up to 90 per cent off the usual or expected price;
  • Check and search for retailer reviews to help ensure a positive shopping experience;
  • Beware of product that is being shipped from abroad; and
  • Check the brand’s own website to find authorised retailers.

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