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Is It Normal For Vets To Charge A Prescription Fee?


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Guest AnnieAreYouOK

Annie needs some dental work done. The quote I got is close to $1000(CDN) including x-ray and up to 4 extractions and drugs. I'm trying to save some money by getting drugs myself at a pharmacy but the vet wants $20 PER PRESCRIPTION. Is this normal? I've been going to the same vet for 4 years and they are supposed to be pretty good but I feel like I'm getting hosed here.

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My vet has never charged me to call my animals' prescriptions in to a regular pharmacy :dunno

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
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In the UK it's normal to charge. At one point the RCVS specified that vets had to supply written prescriptions for free, I believe, but now they may make a 'reasonable charge'. I think it's fair enough, if I'm asking them to write me out a prescription rather than buying something directly from them. I pay about £12, it is well worth doing for long-term medications e.g. Doc's Metacam and Tramadol. The vet is happy to do it, and I'm happy she's not a loser. She can't offer to 'price match' instead, because she pays more for these medications wholesale than I pay retail, if I buy online. (The online suppliers buy in much bigger quantities, so can cut much better deals with the pharmaceutical companies.)

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I think that may be the Canadian norm. Anecdotally, dentals with a couple extractions and some meds seem to run around $1000+ around here. I would suspect you don't have much chance of getting around the med fee, though.

Do you know anyone in the US that could help send meds? The cost plus shipping and taxes may still be lower than what you would pay here.

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Wow, I am so glad I live in a small town where my vet will say, "I think that is on the Walmart $4 list. I'll call it in for you." Also my vet doesn't charge for extractions unless it happens. Yes, very glad I live in a small town!

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We charge a prescription fee which is for our time. I have to take the time to look over the patient's file and make sure they can have the medication or check to see what dose they are currently on and if it is still appropriate. Not only do I have to write the prescription to be faxed or given to the owner but I also have to log it in the patient's file and computer record. Personally I think my time is worth a few dollars, but I'm sure we have a few clients who think otherwise. :P

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My vet charges a prescription fee but in certain circumstances. If one of my dogs has had a major treatment and I want to get the medications for less (Walmart), they don't charge me the prescription fee. However, if I want to get medications for regular stuff elsewhere, they do charge the fee but only $5.

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The only vet who did that was the horrid practice we left (not for that reason). I realize it takes some time, but I can't see that it takes any more time than it does for a human doctor and I've never had one who charged for writing/calling in scripts. Most vets I've seen won't send scripts to internet pharmacies, but that seems to be more of a safety concern.

Beth and Petey (8 September 2018- ). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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My vet has never done this, though I can imagine it happening in future for the time reasons mentioned above.

 

The fee also blunts the benefit of going to a pharmacy, since they will also charge a dispensing fee. So prescription fee + dispensing fee + drug cost at the pharmacy would have to be less than dispensing fee + drug cost at the vet.

 

Practically speaking, it would bother me if it was a prescription was for a drug the clinic didn't carry or was out of stock, i.e., no choice but to go to a pharmacy, but since the same work is involved regardless, I suppose it would still be OK.

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My vet won't write out a Rx. legally, do they have to if you ask here in Ontario?

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Not only does my vet not charge a prescription fee but Mason just had a cleaning with possible extraction. The cleaning was $350. The extraction (had he needed it) would have been another $70. You are paying, I think, an exorbitant amount of money. I'm pretty sure if my vet started me a prescription fee I'd start looking for another vet (and I love them).

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My vets will give me prescriptions to fill wherever I want, and they don't charge me a fee for it. I do sometimes use online pharmacies, but will only use Vet-VIPPS certified ones (any my vets know that), so they are OK with it.

 

Of course, with over $30k in vet bills in the last 2-3 years, I think I'm probably throwing enough money their way anyway! :lol

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Yeah...my vet happily calls in whatever I need to our pharmacy. Most of the time if we've added a new medication while we are there for a visit, she will call it in during our appointment.

 

Any refills that are needed - my pharmacy calls the office, the gals that answer the phone get her okay, and they okay the refill.

 

If it's a one-time med, I'll get it from the vet's office, but, for our ongoing meds, we get them from Target. Our vet then doesn't have to keep large stocks and it's easier for me to get the meds as our pharmacy is close while the office is 20 minutes away.

 

Like Wendy, I've spent thousands of dollars there in the few years we've been going there. They send me a Christmas card and a Christmas gift every year (usually a gift card to a nice restaurant). They also have given me tickets to fundraisers for our local therapy dog program. They know me and my animals well enough that it takes no time at all to get a script filled for me elsewhere.

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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Guest AnnieAreYouOK

My vet won't write out a Rx. legally, do they have to if you ask here in Ontario?

 

Yes. Legally, they do have to write you a prescription if you ask. They can charge whatever they want for it though.

 

PART III

DRUGS

 

26. If a member decides to treat an animal with a drug and either does not dispense it or is asked by the owner for a prescription, the member shall give a written prescription to the owner or offer to give an oral prescription acceptable to the owner to a pharmacist or to another veterinarian in accordance with subsection 33 (1.1). O. Reg. 161/04, s. 14.

 

 

Source:

http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_901093_e.htm

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Guest AnnieAreYouOK

We charge a prescription fee which is for our time. I have to take the time to look over the patient's file and make sure they can have the medication or check to see what dose they are currently on and if it is still appropriate. Not only do I have to write the prescription to be faxed or given to the owner but I also have to log it in the patient's file and computer record. Personally I think my time is worth a few dollars, but I'm sure we have a few clients who think otherwise. :P

 

I can understand that I'm paying for the diagnosis, but that should be part of the total treatment cost. How long does it take to write and log a prescription? It's not like I'm paying per minute here. What's next, charging for spending time answering questions? IMO, the time spent doesn't justify the charge.

 

Looks like this is a more common practice in UK and Canada. I'm gonna try to call around and see what the other vets do.

 

It seems to me that this is kind of bad for business. It drives away long time customers who would potentially pay thousands of dollars for other things.

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My vet he doesn't stock Noelle phenobarb so he is happy to call a script plus 3 refills to which ever pharm.I want with no fee. This way if we need a refill on the weekend there isn't a problem as so when my Traveler was having to take a large dose of lasik they called in so I only had to pay $3.99 for it. There is a vet in town that charges a fee & won't write for refills without charging a fee for each refill too. She wouldn't help me with Noelle's pancreatic enzymes either & this why we switched vets.

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Whenever it has come to drugs I've needed for Nadir my vet has said ' you check your sources and I'll check mine and see where we can get the best price.' Oftentimes he lets me have the drugs at his cost or with very little mark up if he can get them cheaper than I could at a pharmacy. He has never charged me to write or call in a prescription.

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The only time I have had to order into a pharmacy, my vet didn't charge a fee. It was for my rabbit though, and I think she felt sorry for me that I had already spent so much $$. I guess it just depends on the individual.

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My vet told me that she practices medicine and is not a vet to act as a pharmacist. Therefore, she only gives me a script when we need something. She will provide the medications if I ask for them from her, but told me it's cheaper elsewhere. She is actually the one who told me where to get some of Brady's medications at the cheapest price! She loves Brady as if he were her own. Have I told you that I love my vet?

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This is a hot topic within the industry now. There's actually a bill trying to be passed in nj that a veterinary clinic must offer outside scripts. We don't charge to write scripts but, IMO we should to offset our time. You must understand that the receptionist gets numerous script requests daily-most from online pharmacys. She must pull charts, hunt down a Dr ( believe me on a busy day you're afraid to approach them)-get the approval or denial-double check that the dosage etc is correct-doesn't interfere with another current drug (the tech or reception does this as the Drs are entirely too busy to do so)-call the script in (deal with the idiot pharmacy techs) or fax back and finally place the script log in the chart and the computer. All this while she's answering phones and assisting visiting clients. Don't even get me started on insurance forms. We do understand that some medications are less expensive at humans pharmacys and we try very hard to accommodate clients but, should there be a small charge to offset our receptionist/tech time idk.

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This is a hot topic within the industry now. There's actually a bill trying to be passed in nj that a veterinary clinic must offer outside scripts. We don't charge to write scripts but, IMO we should to offset our time. You must understand that the receptionist gets numerous script requests daily-most from online pharmacys. She must pull charts, hunt down a Dr ( believe me on a busy day you're afraid to approach them)-get the approval or denial-double check that the dosage etc is correct-doesn't interfere with another current drug (the tech or reception does this as the Drs are entirely too busy to do so)-call the script in (deal with the idiot pharmacy techs) or fax back and finally place the script log in the chart and the computer. All this while she's answering phones and assisting visiting clients. Don't even get me started on insurance forms. We do understand that some medications are less expensive at humans pharmacys and we try very hard to accommodate clients but, should there be a small charge to offset our receptionist/tech time idk.

So do you pay your doctor for his/her time when s/he writes you a script, beyond the cost of the appointments where your medications are decided on and monitored?

Beth and Petey (8 September 2018- ). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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