This is about prescriptions written by American veterinarians and it is not hot off the press news. It is a reminder of how pet medicines are dispensed. We know that in nearly 100% of cases your veterinarian’s prescription is dispensed by the vet’s clinic. The dispensing of medicines is kept in-house for obvious reasons: financial profit. You can’t blame veterinarians for that but it is totally different to how human medicines are dispensed (at least that is the case in the UK).
However, in America, a couple of large supermarket chains, Targets and Kroger, provide a pet version of their original $4 generics program. The pet program is called PetRx and works in the same way that the original program does. I am sure you have heard about it. I’d like someone to comment if they can and tell me if you use it.
The drugs that these huge supermarkets provide are generic. They’re not branded and therefore they’re much cheaper. If you’re able to convince your veterinarian to provide you with a prescription then you can go along to one of these stores and purchase generic versions of the drugs at a significant discount.
In fact, as I understand it, the PetRx program allows a customer to obtain a months supply of medication for $4. If I have that wrong then please tell me. It seems an extraordinarily low price and if your cat is on repeat prescriptions for a chronic condition then I would have thought that substantial savings could be made.
The problem is that a vet is highly unlikely to hand over a prescription to his customer (I have never asked my vet whether he would!). For this reason federal draft legislation was discussed. It is called the Fairness to Pet Owners Act 2011 (“to provide pet owners the ability to receive a copy of veterinary prescriptions, and for other purposes”). The Bill was debated by a House of Representatives committee. Quite naturally the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) fought the bill because they saw the potential for their members’ profits to be eroded. Proceeds from prescriptions amount to about 20% of a vet’s income. The AVMA won and the Bill was killed off but as I understand it, it has been reintroduced on FEB 10, 2014. The vets are still fighting this bill.
Are your able to persuade your veterinarian to provide you with a copy of the prescription? Have you tried this? Or is this a fanciful notion? If so and if you have succeeded then you probably know that what you do is to find out if any of the Targets or Krogers in your area offer the program and then to check whether the medicines required by your cat come in $4 generics. If you are able to get over these hurdles you can then provide your local store’s pharmacy with a prescription and voilà you’ve shaved some costs from your cat’s medicine bill.