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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to stop hijacking the O&E thread about online pet pharmacies, so I decided to start one here :)

Personally, I do not buy from online pharmacies - my vet will match prices if asked to do so. This article I thought does a good job for arguing for supporting your "local" vet by purchasing products from them and brought up some points I hadn't thought of before. I think someone else on JL may have posted that recently (Nick? maybe?), if so thanks and take the credit here!

http://www.vetinfo.com/supportvet.html

It's a long one and the formatting is annoying, but I'm interested to hear what others have to say!

(A snippet from the end: "When you send your money to catalog companies you are hurting your pet's chances of having the best medical care. There will be less money available for equipping a hospital. Less money for continuing education. Less money to purchase current medical references. Your support of our veterinary hospital is necessary for all these needs. Your pet benefits directly from money you spend here. Can the same be said for a catalog company?")
 

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I've always gotten Frontline and meds through my vet. Even without adding S&H, I haven't seen them cheaper anyplace else.
 

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How strange that your vet tells you that. I think that's a wonderful marketing ploy. The vet hospital I go to ENCOURAGES you to buy online, and they even send reminders to you when your online prescriptions are about to run out.
 

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Well, I do buy my Frontline and Heartguard from the Vet. Her prices may not be the absolute lowest but they are competitive with what I see online. Other things I do buy online though. My vet is a one vet business and I want to make sure she is there year-round when I need her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh no Linda, that's not my vet who wrote the article or gave me the link. My vets don't care for the internet pharmacies (too many pending lawsuits for their likes) but they will happily write out Rxs for those who want to fill meds elsewhere.

I don't think the article is a marketing ploy - My vet typically charges $30-$40 for an office visit that is 40 minutes, obviously someone with her training's time is worth more than that (look at lawyers and doctors and CPAs) so the money to supplement that has to come from somewhere else (vaccines, Rx, toys sold, etc.). It makes sense to me, but maybe I am just the person the article's author was looking to market to and fell for it hook line and sinker ;)
 

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Oh, I just wanted to clarify. If it was a case of my buying from the vet took away from money that I needed to care for my doggies, I'd buy online in a minute.
 

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Unfortunately buying from my vet is ridiculous at this point. She has a thirty to fifty dollar markup over Drs Foster and Smith prices of things like Cosequin, Heartgard, Frontline, etc. And obviously, Dr. Foster's and Smith is not the cheapest online store out there. As a student, there is no way I can afford to pay a 30-50 dollar mark up simply to show my support for her.

I've worked in vet clinics and law practices and find your comparison to be misleading. While it is true that lawyers charge more for an hourly visit, a good lawyer walks in prepared to a meeting. Most vets walk in cold.

While I agree with the basic premise of the article, it does not apply to all situations (like mine).
 

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$30-50 is alot. I wouldn't pay that. I think the last time I checked my Vet was < $10 different than 1-800-Petmeds.
 

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Rangermom said:
$30-50 is alot. I wouldn't pay that. I think the last time I checked my Vet was < $10 different than 1-800-Petmeds.
[/quote

that's about what i see at my vet - it's about $5-$10 dollar difference between 800 pet meds and the vet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
gabbys mom said:
I've worked in vet clinics and law practices and find your comparison to be misleading. While it is true that lawyers charge more for an hourly visit, a good lawyer walks in prepared to a meeting. Most vets walk in cold.
Vets walk in with four years (or more) of professional training and countless cases they've seen before your dog to add to their experience (plus about $150-200,000 worth of debt from school). I think saying our vets walk in "cold" is a little insulting. My vet always has a tech/assistant come in first and then brief her on our problem, so she certainly doesn't walk in unprepared.

That being said :eek: maybe your vet is just trying to rip people off! Good gosh that Frontline better come with a pot of gold or winning lottery tickets! If they're that far above and won't match prices then I can't say I blame you for going online one bit :)
 

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I just checked petmed.com and their prices aren't that much higher than what my vet charges. I pay about $8 more for the Frontline Plus and $6 more for the Heartgard. That's not enough difference to go online. Besides, when i go get the meds, I take Tal with me so he won't think going to the vet always means getting a shot!
 

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I think lost in this discussion is whether vets SHOULD BE allowed to sell medicines, dietary supplements, foods, etc,

Physicians used to do this BUT when it was recognized that doing so led to a conflict of interest (docs prescribed the products they sold) then legislation eventually separated those features.

WHY would it be ANY different with our pets?

If a doctor has something to gain financially from prescribing, recommending, suggesting, and -- ESPECIALLY SELLING -- a product, what protects clients from a conflict of interest?

IMO, the same regulations that apply to humans' physicians should also apply to our pets' vets.
 

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Umm, let's see, so far this year alone....George & Ralph at the vets,
thorn removal from pad $238.00
broken nail $178.00
broken tooth/infection $145.00
laceration eye/infection $ 89.00
neutering/shots X 2 $797.00
Lyme boosters $ 84.00

Total $1531.00

Geez, and we just started April, wonder why some people try to save a little on their meds. :) ;)
 

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Bob Pr. said:
I think lost in this discussion is whether vets SHOULD BE allowed to sell medicines, dietary supplements, foods, etc,

Physicians used to do this BUT when it was recognized that doing so led to a conflict of interest (docs prescribed the products they sold) then legislation eventually separated those features.

WHY would it be ANY different with our pets?

If a doctor has something to gain financially from prescribing, recommending, suggesting, and -- ESPECIALLY SELLING -- a product, what protects clients from a conflict of interest?

IMO, the same regulations that apply to humans' physicians should also apply to our pets' vets.
This is a really good point, Bob.

Some vet clinics around here- not mine obviously- have recognized this and have started using Walgreens to fill their prescriptions.

The veterinary medicine industry does not have nearly enough oversight- unless, of course, you're working with animals destined to become food.

My soapbox-I especially HATE it when vets push food that they sell.

In my experience working for a vet clinic and as a pet owner, what vets know about nutrition comes from the company that is most willing to broker a deal, send reps out, etc.
 

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Hi guys! I thought BobPr made a great point about whether or not vets should sell these products. My vet is actually very reasonable when it comes to office visits, but they make their $ on the products they sell. I get Adequan at a vet supply shop in town (we live in a very agricultural area and the shop mainly caters to large animal vets and ranchers). Their Adequan is $47 for a 5mL vial and at my vet is almost double that. Same goes for Heartgaurd. A friend of mine is a vet tech at the teaching hospital in town and she said as a rule, they mark products up 100-200%. Maybe that's just my area, though. It would seem to me that if the vets really needed to make money on these meds, they could try to be more competetive. I've also noticed myself becoming more skeptical of products that my vet recommends if they sell it. It's unfortunate that I can't take their advice as being purely objective, because I'm sure the majority of vets make objective opinions... but it sure muddies the water.
 

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I try to make all my purchases with local people regardless of the product or service. The difference in cost with the pet pharmacies and my vet are negligible. PetMeds does not get up on a Sunday morning and open up their shop when I need them in an emergency.My vet does.

I am just as interested in saving money as anyone else,but I always feel compelled to support local businesses. If there is a big savings advantage to buying a product from a national big box store or from a local store, I ask the local store if they can meet or come close in price. More times than not the local store can get close enough in cost. The large retailers don't know you,they take your money and send it on to corporate headquarters. The local store takes that money and keeps it in the local community.
 

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I don't remember posting that link, but I do buy from my vet. Like you mentioned, his practice will match prices, so if I find a better deal I'll show them and they'll honor it.

I had never thought about some of the arguments Bob mentioned, but I wonder how feasible that would be to establish separate pet pharmacies? I think vets have a tough enough time getting owners to actually give the medication, much less go somewhere else to buy it.

More oversight = higher costs. You really have to keep in mind that the vast majority of pet owners are not as diligent as we are. You increase the costs and you'll decrease the overall health of the pet population...or at least that's my opinion.
 

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My vet stocks a limited supply of meds just routine usage. They match flea and tick and heartworm prices.

In the Phoenix area we have an excellant pet med compounding pharmacy. If the drug isn't patented they will compound it for you. My vet always calls their scripts in to them and it is shipped that day so you receive it within a day or two. If it is something your pet needs right away it is only a 10 mile drive from there office and the pharmacy will make the drug and have it waiting on you. As they charge $4 shipping and handling we usually go and get Cinnamon's stuff as we usually go in that direction when shopping. They are wonderful people and so helpful. The meds Cinnamon was on when her yeast infections in her ears kept coming back were $120 at Walgreens, $75 at Petsmeds.com and $19 at the compounding pharmacy.

My vet tells me they have used them for over 20 years and never had a problem with accuracy of the compounds. In fact it was nice because Cinnamon was a puppy so they mixed exactly for her weight instead of being a weight range. They do not handle flea, tick and heartworm prevention meds they say they cannot compete price wise.
 
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