Copyright CtPetLovers.com 2012
The cost of medicine for pets – just like for humans – can vary by 100 percent or more, depending on where you have your prescription filled.
While purchasing prescription medicine at your veterinarian is the most convenient, frequently – not always – it is the most expensive.
Pet owners have other alternatives including on-line stores, pharmacies (both independent and chain), department stores that have pharmacies including those at Costco, Target, and Walmart. Even some supermarket pharmacies are getting into selling pet medications.
“About two-thirds of the pet owners we surveyed for this report said they buy their pet medicines from the vet who prescribes them. That’s often a mistake because vets’ markups over wholesale start at 100 percent and frequently hit 160 percent, plus a $5 to $15 dispensing fee, according to the American Animal Hospital Association’s latest Veterinary Fee Reference,” says Consumer Reports.
“For some medicines, the markups are even higher, according to a survey of wholesale prices compared with retail prices charged by 1,728 veterinarians, conducted in 2009 by LHK Partners, a market research firm. Examples include a 567 percent markup for the anti-inflammatory steroid prednisone, 800 percent for the pain reliever tramadol, and 1,019 percent for the antibiotic amoxicillin.”
Dr. Christopher Gargamelli, president of the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association, says that there is no question that in many cases pet medication will be cheaper at pharmacies where they have huge volume discounts.
He says that the code of ethics for both Connecticut and American Veterinary Medical Associations state that veterinarians – if asked – should honor client requests to have medication prescribed to a pharmacy.
“We as a professional organization believe in choice,” he said in a telephone interview. Dr. Gargamelli, a small animal emergency veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Hospital of Central Connecticut in Rocky Hill has 3 dogs, 2 guinea pigs, 2 cats, 2 rabbits, and a turtle.
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