Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    frivolous_fay
    Asking vet for a prescription
    • #1
    • 15th Jun 08, 7:01 PM
    Asking vet for a prescription 15th Jun 08 at 7:01 PM
    Hallo,

    Before I try asking for a prescription at the vets (which I understand I can do, and they must supply) does anyone know how much my vet is likely to gain when they sell treatments to me direct?

    Although I'd quite like to save 50% on crazy priced prescription spot treatment for my two kitties, I'm not desperate to upset my new vet!

    Say... a 20 treatment at the vet which viovet sell for 10. If I get it from viovet, how much is the vet likely to lose?

    TIA!
    My TV is broken!
    Edit: refunded 515 for TV 1.5 years out of warranty - thank you Sale of Goods Act!
Page 1
  • Lillibet
    • #2
    • 15th Jun 08, 8:57 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Jun 08, 8:57 PM
    I work for a vet & we add about 35-40% on to preventitive care treatments like flea spot-ons etc. Prescription drugs we add about 15% onto, primarily because we don't want our clients to buy drugs from the internet as we see so many problems resulting from inferior quality/out of date/just plain fake internet purchased drugs. For somedrugs, such as warfarin, ibuprofen & valium we charge less than an NHS prescription price even though the drug is exactly the same as human grade-qulaity & dose (by law we cannot full human prescriptions though!). We don't sell cheap flea treatments, only behind the counter ones; Advocate, Stronghold, Frontline & Programme, as in our experience these are the only ones that work, cheaper ones are a total waste of money. In our area we are seeing a upsurge in cases of lung & heart worm, both of which are mostly fatal unless caught very early, so we are recommending Advocate spot-on flea treatment, which prevents against both of these in addition to fleas, right now.

    However, (and I know this isn't going to be a popular view) I would like to remind everyone that vets charge big prices because they have big overheads & provide some services for which they don't get paid : treating/euthanising diseased/injured strays/RTA's; tracking down owners of lost pets; treating wildlife (beacuse the RSPCA always refer people to their local vet!) etc. All of these are potentially expensive actions which everyone expects a vet to provide and swallow the cost themselves and quite frankly someone somewhere has to pay, so services, including repeat medications & preventitive treatments, tend to be higher priced accordingley. If people keep using their vet for essential services but use the internet for others, eventually the cost of vaccinations & consultations will go through the roof to keep the vet in business & provide these assumed free service.

    That said, you are quite at liberty to ask for a prescription, and by law the vet must provide in within a reasonable time frame (we have a 3 working day turn-around) and again by law it must be free of charge. We do however, keep a note on file of who receives written prescriptions and we do not ever offer those clients discretionary discounts or payment plans.

    HTH
    Post Natal Depression is the worst part of giving birth

    In England we have Mothering Sunday & Father Christmas, Mothers day & Santa Clause are American merchandising tricks Demonstrate pride in your heirtage by getting it right please people!
  • frivolous_fay
    • #3
    • 15th Jun 08, 11:18 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Jun 08, 11:18 PM
    Thanks Lillibet, I appreciate the inside view.
    It's the Stronghold I'm looking at.
    At 20 a packet it's going to cost 160 just to keep them flea and worm free for a year.. 80 seems much more attractive but I guess it's a trade-off between that and keeping the vet sweet.
    My TV is broken!
    Edit: refunded 515 for TV 1.5 years out of warranty - thank you Sale of Goods Act!
  • JennyW
    • #4
    • 16th Jun 08, 9:01 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Jun 08, 9:01 AM
    I work for a vet & we add about 35-40% on to preventitive care treatments like flea spot-ons etc. Prescription drugs we add about 15% onto,
    HTH
    Originally posted by Lillibet
    Well my vet charges more than 15% on prescription medication. They charge about 42.00 for an 80ml bottle of Metacam. I can purchase it on line for around 18-20 so of course I purchase it on line. And I buy it from a reputable company (PetMeds).
  • Lillibet
    • #5
    • 16th Jun 08, 10:04 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Jun 08, 10:04 AM
    Humm, interesting JennyW, I will check later when I am at work to see what our exact mark up on Metacam is & come back.
    Post Natal Depression is the worst part of giving birth

    In England we have Mothering Sunday & Father Christmas, Mothers day & Santa Clause are American merchandising tricks Demonstrate pride in your heirtage by getting it right please people!
  • orlao
    • #6
    • 16th Jun 08, 10:05 AM
    • #6
    • 16th Jun 08, 10:05 AM
    Lillibet,

    WHile I appreciate your honesty and this isn't meant to be rude, it's about time vets started to realise that they are running a service based business.

    The everincreasing consultation charge should over most of the overheads and then, vets/ practice managers should look at increasing their turnover by competing with some of the internet prescription suppliers.......afterall, they don't have every customer already paying a consult and they have to cover their costs ( warehouse, staff, website, postage) but still manage to undercut my vet by 30 - 50% sometimes more!!! Metacalm is a prime example as Jenny W says.BTW, I've bought everything from wormers to prescription meds online for about 8 years now and I've only once had a problem with short dated goods, returned and refunded , no problem. I have never had a problem with fakes or poor quality but then I research my suppliers!

    While I understand what you are saying about "charity" work, I've recently discovered that in my area, now that the council is responsible for strays 24/7 and the police refuse to deal with them is that a big vet chain acts as a holding and treatment centre out of hours for all animals including wildlife and charges the council for this service. Now if you ring any of the local vets about a stray, RTA etc they refer you to them. They are also the out of hours service for 95% of the vets in this area and are the reason I am on the point of changing vets to the one (large) practice that does look after it's own out of hours service.

    It's a shame as I've used these vets for many years and most of the time I'm happy with the vets themselves but their attitude when you ask for a prescription and their lack of admin particularly when you are referred or use the out of hours service is appalling...on more than one occasion I've paid for two lots of identical tests because they are poor at communicating with other providers that THEY have referred me to.....and when you query the bill politely you'd swear that you were asking them to take the money out of their own pockets!!!!

    I do understand the principles of running a service business and IMO until many vets realise that that is what they are doing and start to behave accordingly they will continue to feel hard done by when their customers pick and chose the service that they want their vet to supply but that won't help them in the long run.

    Anyway, sorry about the rant, none of it was personal it's a subject that really winds me up

    frivolous_fay

    I hope you still feel able to ask for a prescription as IMHO a 100% mark up is just plain greedy
  • Lillibet
    • #7
    • 16th Jun 08, 11:21 AM
    • #7
    • 16th Jun 08, 11:21 AM
    No problem Orlando, all points of view are welcome!

    As a customer I agree with everything you have said, but as a member of staff who sees the "behind the scenes" side of things I know just how much work & effort is expected & given which is way above normal customer service standards in other service industries I have worked in.

    I think it's very much like most things, food & meds can be bought more cheaply elsewhere (but again I say, this is fraught with potential problems & having witnessed some I would never do it for this reason alone) but the vets mark up of these does contribute greatly to the rest of the service offered, often at low or no cost for whatever reason. The more people buy the products elsewhere the more the cost of essential treatments & consultations will rise in order to keep the books balanced. People already complain about costs of treatment, consults, operations etc, what will they say or do if these costs were to double? Would they stop treating their pets, take them to unqualifed vets, attempt to self-diagnoize, or let the animal suffer? It is a question I have offen pondered on.

    I also think it's interesting, even amusing, that Dr's charge for private prescriptions but vets aren't allowed to!


    HTH
    Post Natal Depression is the worst part of giving birth

    In England we have Mothering Sunday & Father Christmas, Mothers day & Santa Clause are American merchandising tricks Demonstrate pride in your heirtage by getting it right please people!
  • orlao
    • #8
    • 16th Jun 08, 3:35 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Jun 08, 3:35 PM
    Funnily enough Lillibet, I was talking to a large animal vet today as we were trying to persuade a little pony that being treated up was a good idea and I asked him if a lot of his customers asked for a prescription. He said "not many as we have dropped our prices to just a little above what the internet places charge and we tell anyone who asks that" and even though most horses are insured for vet bills the excess is usually higher (125) than pet insurance so most of the time you don't claim for minor things.Also horse insurance only covers the 1st 12 months of an illness so after that you pay for meds/treatment yourself and the vets found that it was better to take a smaller profit on meds than none.......I appreciate that large animal and pet practices are different but not that different!!!

    As far as consultation and operation prices rising, well in my experience they have way above the retail price index....why? Staff aren't getting big pay rises, rents and rates haven't gone up that much.....

    Personally I have no problem paying the true price for a service, what I object to is the padding of bills and as a customer I will search out the best price for an identical product be it meds or even something like my utilities. If the internet pharmacies can supply the product at x and still make a profit why can't my vets do similar? After all, these products all come from the same companies no matter who is selling them? Surely a 20% profit on a product is better than 0% profit? I understand about fake/poor quality products being available but if you do a bit of research you should be able to reduce the risk of that happening? Caveat Emptor (sp) and all that?

    I sat in my vets not that long ago waiting to be slotted in as an emergency appointment and in an hour reckoned that 2 vets saw 25 patients, even if some of them were repeat appts at *only* 22 time that makes a lot of cash over the counter ( I have seen it a lot busier!) and that didn't include any ops, home visits or the previous 4 hours of surgery time. Now if they can't cover their running costs for 3 vets ( no out of hours costs remember, in fact they get a payment every ime one of their patients uses the O.O.H provider) and 3 nurses plus a receptionist then they are not running their business properly!!!! IMO, the food and med sales should be the bonus not the essentials of their costs. Also if vets wish to do charity or no charge work there is an option to ask people to contribute via a collection tin rather than compell them to through their charges....most pet owners are a soft touch when it comes to an animal needing help and would happily puta few quid in a tin but at least they have a choice then!

    I often wonder if vets have got used to insurance companies paying bills without question and got used to a certain level of profit without having to consider their day to day running costs as carefully as any other service providers but as horseowners have now discovered that will not go on forever and I think that pet insurers are now beginning to query what they see as unreasonable costs and fight back a little.....

    Again, most pet owners will do anything for their animals whether they can really afford it or not and if charges rise excessively at one practise will move to another....the irresponsible won't pay regardless of the price sadly, but having a pet is something that can cost a lot and people have to realise that is their responsibility to either insure or be prepared to self fund.....not expect other customers either through their ever increasing premiums or their own self funding to subsidise them. I know that appears harsh but I don't ask others to pay my bills and I'm happy to contribute IF I have the option and can afford/wish to when a vets choose to help an animal that doesn't have funding for whatever reason.

    Doctors who charge for a private prescription are usually NHS.....therefore funded by the state and us through N.I contributions so not quite the same scenario

    Slightly off topic, sorry op
  • lizsil
    • #9
    • 5th Feb 09, 1:02 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Feb 09, 1:02 PM
    The trouble is now that the vet can charge for writing out a prescription and charge what they like. My vet wanted 10 per item. There were two items so that's 20, I think that's about the difference we would have saved by buying online. The vet knows this so has you over a barrel, it's a complete rip off.
  • snowman2
    Not every vet is charging like that, I personally think that is more than a bit cheeky - we aren't charging anything at the moment but are looking into the situation. I don't mind providing a free prescription for someone who is coming in for regular checkups but I object to providing a free prescription for 2 worm tablets or a 3 pack of flea treatment so someone can save less than a couple of pounds. For the time it takes me to do it, it is costing me more to write a prescription that it is saving the person getting it. We are looking in to how legally we can charge if someone just walks in but not charge if they have an appointment.
    Other than that, most vet organisations are advising charging based on time and using the standard consultation charge as a basis. If it takes 5 minutes to write, print and sign the prescription, charge the same as 5 minutes of consultation time. For us, about 10 would be right but that would be for all items, not per item.
  • Tribulation
    I've found that there are vets and there are vets.

    The vet I use is superb. Very reasonable consultation prices, never minds if you need to pay over a few months, tells you when something is a rip off and not worth buying etc.

    When my dog was put down earlier this week, I offered to sort out the bill and they simply said

    "Don't worry about things like that now"

    They also said we could stay as long as we liked

    Friday we received a lovely hand written card from the vets offering their condolences at the loss of our dog.

    The care they've shown us over the years and the honesty (eg while they say they will do as we wish, have strongly advised us against procedures in elderly animals that they feel is a complete waste of our money etc) is worth the extra in my opinion.

    If I had a pet that needed long term medication for life, if it was expensive at the vets and I could get it a lot cheaper elsewhere, first I would ask the vets is there's anything they could do with the price once the insurance ran out, but if not and I could save myself 20+ a month I would be silly not to.
    Martin Lewis is always giving us advice on how to force companies to do things.

    How about giving us advice on how to remove ourselves from any part of
    MoneySupermarket.com

    I hereby withdraw any permission Martin might have implied he gave MoneySupermarket.com to use any of my data. Further more, I do not wish ANY data about me, or any of my posts etc to be held on any computer system held by MoneySupermarket.com or any business it has any commercial interests in.
  • LittleTinker
    I understand what you mean about all the charity work that Vets do but disagree that "someone" has to pay for it. I always thought that a Vet wanted to make sure all animals were comfortable in life...and sometimes that means doing so without making money.

    Look at rescue workers, for example. They take a hugh amount of the charity work from vets and the vets then gain paid work for their treatments. And none of the rescue workers are paid.

    It shouldnt be passed on to the average customer as they already pay enough.

    But....like all walks of life.....you get some people who are greedier than others and vets are no exception.

    I did move my Vets not long after I moved here because they werent that nice, they werent that friendly, they charged for a sneeze, they had mercs and jags in the carpark and I never felt that they cared all that much to be honest.

    The vets we have now are fantastic. They dont press for their money. They give you alternative therapies. They will tell you what human medicine will work just as well (and costs far far less). They are cheaper than the other vets. In fact they are so nice, I would go more often....if you know what I mean.

    Lets face it.....if a person were needing emergency first aid in the street, you can almost guarantee that one doctor will complain about not getting paid for that kind of thing....whereas another will be happy to have helped.

    Its just greedy people.
  • POSSETTE
    i once asked our brill vets for a prescription for meds, i knew what i was going to be prescribed through experience with other doggies, so id looked it up on www.vet-medic.co.uk and got the price. My vet asked how much id been quoted,and as his was approx 6 dearer he said he would match it! So i got it there and then.Try bartering with them,it works!!
    TO FINISH LAST, FIRST YOU HAVE TO FINISH....
  • shirlgirl2004
    I wanted to point out that as of 30 October 2008 vets can now charge for prescriptions. Mine charges 15 so for most things it is as cheap to buy from the vet rather than buying online when a presciption is required. For flea treatments, wormers etc you don't need the prescription so it's worth buying online.
  • arnie&caseysma!
    Last time I checked what one of my pets got from the vet against online suppliers there was a HUGE markup. We paid 52 and could have gotten it online for less than 20! Horrendous.

    However, our vets are great. They run 2 clinics per day and as Casey creates mayhem whenever we take her in by wanting to play with everyone, we usually make a same day appointment for her so we know there is going to be no-one else there.

    Also, when we had to contact them OOH recently when she was giving birth we took her in, she bled all over the floor in the hallway, waiting room, surgery etc, on the way in, and on the way out. And when we had to take her back for a C-Section an hour later she did it all again - but at that point she was taken straight through and jumped infront of everyone else who was there for Ops aswell. And made a mess of the floor all over again (glad I wasn't cleaning up!).

    The vets do have to do lots of jobs that we don't appreciate, including the cleaning of the floor OOH so I don't mind paying the costs to have my pets treated same day instead of having to wait on a prescription being provided, then order it online and waiting for delivery.

    Oh, and the service is so personal that whenever one of the vets see us in the street they always stop to ask how the pets are getting on, asking after them by name!
    "Life may not always be the party you wish for, but whilst here you may aswell dance"!!!
    Murphy's NMPC Memb No 239!
    Dippychick's De-clutter club Member No 6! - onto room no 2!
    My Avatar? Arnie and Casey, proud parents to Storm and Tsu born 19/01/2009!!! - both now in new homes and called Murron and Burger!
  • Tribulation
    When our dog got ill a couple of weeks ago, we made an initial appointment and had a consultation. At that time the vet spent around 20 mins with him, doing a urine test, taking blood.

    The following day we phoned up for the results and the blood test confirmed he was diabetic.

    We then had another 1hr long appointment where they went through everything with us, getting us to inject a harmless saline (I think) solution into him to make sure we were doing it right. We came away with insulin, loads of syringes, magnetic fridge chart to record dosage, box for used needles, glucose, written info, and the loan of a DVD to watch.

    Then sadly he had a fit. We phoned the vets, took him there as an emergency patient. This was around 11pm at night. He was put on a drip, given glucose and had various blood tests done while we waited. We were there for over an hour.

    The following day the vets phoned me up 5 different times to give me progress updates on him, and to tell me what medication they had him on to try and stop the fitting.

    Finally we got the call I was secretly expecting, we went in and my poor dog was put down and we asked the vets to arrange his cremation.

    Total cost for ALL this was a very very reasonable 481.87

    When I read some threads and see what people are being charges (ok I don't know exactly what treatment their animals are having), it looks to me like some vets are using insurance companies as a license to print money. I was talking about this to my brother in law today. He said that both my and his vets really care about animals, and that's the big difference. he said that often if he's only in his vets for 5 mins with something simple, his vet doesn't even bother charging him.
    Martin Lewis is always giving us advice on how to force companies to do things.

    How about giving us advice on how to remove ourselves from any part of
    MoneySupermarket.com

    I hereby withdraw any permission Martin might have implied he gave MoneySupermarket.com to use any of my data. Further more, I do not wish ANY data about me, or any of my posts etc to be held on any computer system held by MoneySupermarket.com or any business it has any commercial interests in.
  • *Chattie*
    Just a quick question about your signature foreign correspondent, does it mean that you think you are an expert on alternatives to the drugs industry for animals?
  • hieveryone
    My vets won't even write out a prescription without seeing my dog first - my dog has been on the same medication for years but the vet insists that instead of a repeat prescription, he must see her, adding the consultation fee on too.


    Bought is to buy. Brought is to bring.
  • foreign correspondent
    Just a quick question about your signature foreign correspondent, does it mean that you think you are an expert on alternatives to the drugs industry for animals?
    Originally posted by *Chattie*
    not as all chattie, I know nothing about the subject, and medical advice is not allowed on here as giving wrong information could have tragic consequences.

    My sig was something someone said (not as a compliment, but because I am opinionated!!) and it made me laugh, so it became my sig...
    - almost a legend -
    FC, you are fast becoming the Ted Hutchinson of the pet forums
  • orlao
    My vets won't even write out a prescription without seeing my dog first - my dog has been on the same medication for years but the vet insists that instead of a repeat prescription, he must see her, adding the consultation fee on too.
    Originally posted by hieveryone

    And vets wonder why they they are often accused of greed

    If you bought the meds for your dog from them would they still insist on seeing her so often?It might be interesting to find out.....because the RCVS and consumer direct have issued guidelines that clients who buy a prescription should not be treated any differently to clients who buy the meds from the vets....both are asking to be informed if this happens and promising some as yet unspecified action.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim's to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

5,131Posts Today

5,087Users online

Martin's Twitter