Are pharmacies the answer for less-costly pet Rxs?

July 24, 2014

At least two U.S. senators believe so. They’ve promised to introduce legislation that would require veterinarians to provide written prescriptions so customers can competitively shop for pet medications.

At least two U.S. senators believe so. They’ve promised to introduce legislation that would require veterinarians to provide written prescriptions so customers can competitively shop for pet medications.

Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) said pet owners are paying a 240% markup when they buy drugs from veterinarians.

During a recent press conference in New York City’s Greenwich Village, the senators said a similar law for optometrists significantly lowered the costs of contact lenses.

Many veterinarians do not routinely supply written prescriptions unless asked. Instead, many sell the medications at prices that are significantly higher than the medications can be bought from other sources.

“Pet owners would do almost anything to care for their furry or feathered family members,” Schumer said. “But it can often break the bank.”

Added Blumenthal: “Consumers will be unleashed and liberated from their vets by this bill, which will simply automatically give them a piece of paper that they can take to a pharmacy, to an online supplier and seek better prices,” he said.

 

Pet medications are already available at most pharmacies. However, many pet owners do not know that they can fill such prescriptions at the pharmacy.

Prescription medications for people are also generally more expensive when dispensed by doctors. One recent study found that physicians routinely charged patients prices that were three times as high as retail pharmacy prices.