The Elanco Companion Animal Health product tracking system recently assisted in identifying product being removed illegally from a New Orleans veterinary clinic. The veterinary clinic discovered that an employee was allegedly selling products through an online retailer that belonged in clinic inventory.
The Track and Trace system used by Elanco on all of its parasiticide products includes bar codes and identifying marks on all product packages and cartons. These codes enable the original product purchaser to be identified. In the New Orleans case, products purchased by the Abadie Veterinary Hospital were found later for sale on a national online retail site. Selling products outside the veterinary channel violates Elanco Companion Animal Health sales policies. Veterinarians who are identified as selling products outside the veterinary channel are no longer allowed to purchase Elanco Companion Animal products, according to the company sales policy.
When the Elanco representative contacted Dr. Scott Abadie, owner of the clinic, to make him aware of the sales policy violation, he was shocked. “Initially, I thought this was a mistake. I had never sold products online,” Dr. Abadie explained. Further investigation identified the online seller as an employee of the clinic. Law enforcement authorities were notified. Abadie estimates the loss to total tens of thousands of dollars.
Jeff Reid was the Elanco sales representative who contacted Abadie about the products found for sale online. “It was a difficult call to make since Dr. Abadie is both a friend and a customer,” Reid said. “But the Track and Trace coding clearly identified his clinic as the original purchaser. It was a relief as well as a shock to learn the source of the online product sales.”
Track and Trace coding has been utilized on Elanco products for the past five years. “Track and Trace enables us to keep our products within the confines of the veterinary/client relationship,” explained Shawn McKee, Senior Director, Elanco Companion Animal Health. “Elanco partners with veterinarians, believing they are the best source of information for pet owners. We want our products to stay within the veterinary clinic to ensure they are prescribed appropriately. Track and Trace enables us to do so.”
“I always thought ‘that will never happen to me,’ ” Abadie said. “After telling my story to other veterinarians, I found out it happens a lot more than you think it does. Track and Trace gives us a feeling that if things like this are going on, we’re one step ahead. The proof is in the fact that we caught this. It’s a good thing for business owners and practice managers to know they [Elanco] are behind us.”
Since initiating Track and Trace, more than 500 veterinarians have been banned from purchasing Elanco companion animal products as a result of being caught diverting products.
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Elanco is a global, innovation-driven company that develops and markets products to improve animal health production in more than 75 countries. Elanco Companion Animal Health enables veterinarians to help pets live longer, healthier, higher-quality lives through innovative, safe and effective products; product, technical and case management support; economic value; and support of the important bond between humans, pets and their veterinarians. More information is available at elanco.com.