Cost of medications

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Jen
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Cost of medications

Postby Jen » Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:44 am

I know that I should support my local veterinarian by purchasing prescriptions through them, but when Costco is $6 & $20 vs their $30 and $90, I have a VERY hard time justifying this. If it were $6 vs $10 and $20 vs $30, I might be more inclined.

What do you guys do?? I feel guilty every time I ask them to send it to Costco, and I feel even guiltier when I ask them to let me call Costco first to compare (because one time the vet WAS within a reasonable difference).

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Re: Cost of medications

Postby Calypso » Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:47 am

I would hope that the vet would understand that there are times when you have to cut costs. I try to support local whenever I can, but there are just times when I can't. I try to tell myself that all the other stuff I buy locally makes a difference. Don't know if it does or not.

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Re: Cost of medications

Postby MaisyPancakes » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:19 pm

When the discrepancy is that great, and if the business has other means of income (i.e., vet), I don't feel badly at all. I once got a bottle of herbs from my vet that that I later found being sold at my co-op for less than half the price (and the co-op's regular prices are not that impressive). I felt completely stupid for buying from the vet but also almost angry at them for their absurd markup. According to one of the techs, they don't get too many requests for Rx at the clinic anymore because everyone has cheaper options but they didn't seem to be hurting from that shift, really.

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Re: Cost of medications

Postby Sabine » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:09 pm

I definitely agree. I put up with things like paying $35 for a rabies vax (no exam, just the vaccine, administered by a vet tech right in the lobby) and once I took home a bottle of medicated shampoo at an exorbitant price because I wanted to start using it asap.

Luckily not all vets are like that though. I do love my regular vet, when Quigley needed blood pressure meds and prednisone, he actually called in for me at CVS without trying to sell me anything. I think it also helps that this clinic has a compounding pharmacy in the same building, so things are usually fairly priced.
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JudyL
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Re: Cost of medications

Postby JudyL » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:17 pm

My vet is great about this and encourages people to use online pharmacies, discount coupons, and places like Costco or Walmart if the drugs can be purchased for less. I wouldn't feel guilty about asking at all. Last time I got doxycycline I told the vet I wanted to come home and make calls to check on the pricing before placing an order with a compounding pharmacy. Plus, I had to set up the account with the compounding pharmacy first, so the vet couldn't call it in right then anyway.

Your vet should be able to notate the pet's chart that the Rx is required, allow you to research the prices, and then call your vet back to have them call or fax the prescription anywhere you choose. That's what my vet did the last time mom's dog needed heartworm pills.

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Re: Cost of medications

Postby SherriA » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:30 pm

I have no qualms buying prescriptions elsewhere when the savings is significant, and I've never had a vet even blink about it.
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Re: Cost of medications

Postby Aubergine » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:45 pm

Wait. WUT. I *never* thought about calling in an Rx to a pharmacy! Is it normal for pharmacies to carry veterinary meds?

I love my vet, but they are very pricey! And, since I'm putting their kids through university anyway, maybe I should try this...

Mind: blown :P

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Re: Cost of medications

Postby Jen » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:53 pm

Costco carries some specifically vet meds (R&B have Costco pharmacy cards with their names on them and they get the uninsured price lol ).

But also a lot of our prescriptions are human meds at dog dosages. B is taking Clavamox and Ciprofloxin.

Thanks, guys, I won't feel guilty any more. I had read in a few places that it was wrong to call out for Rx because prescriptions subsidized other things in the practice and you were being unfair. I've only had one vet kind of huff at me when I asked if I could call around, but I thought the rest were just huffing in private. :hmm:

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Re: Cost of medications

Postby JudyL » Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:49 pm

Like Jen said, many of the Rx are human meds. I got Chi's doxy at Walmart for several years before the dramatic price increase. Doxy is the #1 treatment for Lyme disease in humans as well as pets. Now I'm getting it through a compounding pharmacy that is making it for less than I can get anywhere else, and it is a pressed tablet, flavored, and scored for proper dosing too. Win-win-win for me and I don't have to hide it in food or coat it with PB or cheese. Her eye meds are also compounded. I get a much larger quantity of cyclosporine that that stingy little bit that came from the vet! Those compounding pharmacies are both for humans, and Chi's label says ChiChi The Dog Lathrop. Walmart used to ask me to confirm her birthday for security purposes.

If you get any of the catalogs like Fosters & Smith, or are familiar with places like 1-800-Pet-Meds and Allivet, those have non-Rx products and also Rx products. I mentioned the heartworm meds for mom's dog, and that required that the vet either call in or fax the Rx, and then we called in to pay. It was all very easy.

To Jen - my old vet (I'm trying hard to never mention her again) refused to give me an Rx to take to my human pharmacy. She and her staff also gave me a very hard time about me purchasing Dasuquin over the internet. Five years ago, old vet was charging about double the price I could purchase the Dasuquin from Allivet. No wonder that office was giving people a hard time; that's a very nice markup! Well, instead of continuing to benefit by ripping me off through her bullying tactics and excessive vaccinations, she lost a lifetime of revenue from 4 patients that is now 5! That time when ChiChi was so sick with the autoimmune flareups in 2009, I was in that office almost every week, sometimes more than once a week. She lost out big, and I'm happy about that every time I think of it. Karma!

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Re: Cost of medications

Postby Jen » Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:48 pm

Judy, your story reminds me of Pretty Woman "Big mistake! Huge!"

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Re: Cost of medications

Postby maxs_mommy » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:15 am

A lot of those meds are on the $4 drug list too. Cephalexin, Prozac, thyroid meds and lots of others qualify. I go to Hy-vee pharmacy but any pharmacy that has a cheap generic drug list will do it. Max's account says Max Cunningham K-9. They always ask me if he has any questions about taking the meds until I remind them that he's a dog. :lol:
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Re: Cost of medications

Postby Trademarkbark » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:28 pm

My vet prescribes antibiotics that are on the "free" list at Publix. They know I do the best I can,so they help when they can. Others charge way too much for a med that costs them a few cents. Depends on the vet ....
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Re: Cost of medications

Postby emmas_mom » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:57 pm

I always ask for a prescription to take to my druggist if it is a drug they carry (for humans). At one time my dogs and I were on the exact same thyroid drug, same dosage - came in very handy when I ran short before renewing for one of us! :)
I do buy other things from my vet where the difference is insignificant or even better than elsewhere - they have the best price on Pill Pockets and a good price on Green Mussel Lipid supplements, so I get those at the vet. And surprisingly, their christmas dog-dress-up clothes (Santa hats, bandannas etc) were a better price than at the pet or department stores this year!
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Re: Cost of medications

Postby Aubergine » Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:28 pm

I am very excited to try this for the first time today! Becky has to have some work done on her gums (she is a little defective and thus expensive) and the vet is going to write me a scrip for the pain meds so I can buy it from my local Shoppers Drugmart!


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