Vets attitude to prescription note.

(31 Posts)
MarcoPoloCX Sat 01-Dec-18 07:26:06

What's your vet's attitude to you getting a prescription note?
I was visiting the vets with my friend's dog. She was about to get a year's worth of Advocate and some other stuff from the vets when I mentioned that it would be much cheaper to get it online.
I know they need to cover the overheads but some of the stuff were 50%, 100% or double or more on the online prices.
He was reluctant in writing it and was dismissive about the online retailers even though they're properly licensed.
He was abrupt and left us at the reception without saying a word.

OP’s posts: |
ragged Sat 01-Dec-18 07:33:14

Mine have been absolutely fine about writing prescriptions. I hate asking, but it works out much cheaper & they don't argue with that point.

BiteyShark Sat 01-Dec-18 08:24:14

I have never asked for one but mine is always happy to mention that I can get some things more cheaply from supermarkets when it isn't animal specific so I can't see them minding if I did ask.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 01-Dec-18 09:05:08

As a vet I am not irritated about writing the prescription what irritates me is that there is a product that I am told by the manufacturers the internet pharmacies get no special deal on it us sold by the pharmacies for £18.50, I can buy that product exVAT for £22.34, so the bare minimum I can sell if for with VAT is £26.80.
I do, however, get special deals better than the internet pharmacies on certain flea and worm products and my prices are less than the pharmacies when you account for a prescription cost.
What I think the pet owning public are not aware of is that if vets match the internet pharmacies for all products consultation fees are likely to rise to around £60-90 per consult. This point has been discussed at length on the vet forums and this is the level which is sustainable.

BiteyShark Sat 01-Dec-18 09:12:32

Lonecatwithkitten I am also happy to pay a bit extra as well for my medications (yes I know I am fortunate that money isn't tight) because the vets have to make a small profit and I want them to stay open. I do sometimes feel bad when my vets obviously go out of their way to try and keep costs down for me when actually I understand that they need to have a mark up on items to survive.

No high street shop can really compete with online prices as it's simply cheaper over heads which can be passed on.

villainousbroodmare Sat 01-Dec-18 18:09:07

Well, it was rather interfering and it lost the business money, so tbh I'm not surprised that the vet was irritated.
Would you do the same at, for example, your local greengrocer, or dressmaker, or bookshop or any other small business?

Hoppinggreen Sat 01-Dec-18 18:50:43

It was rude of you to do it like that
I agree with villainous I would be pretty pissed off if a client was about to buy something from me and a friend piped up “oh no, don’t buy it here you can get it cheaper online”

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Greyhorses Sat 01-Dec-18 20:13:46

There’s no way vets can compete with online prescription prices considering the huge amount of bulk that the online companies can buy in.

MattMagnolia Mon 03-Dec-18 21:09:01

Our vet gets round this by charging the difference between on line and his price for the prescription.

Tim720 Mon 03-Dec-18 21:12:55

Please don’t feel sorry for the vets , I know how much profit vets make

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 04-Dec-18 07:51:38

Hmm yes if we worked for free our bills would only be 20% less. Rolling in it.

BiteyShark Tue 04-Dec-18 07:57:13

Tim720 I feel sorry for the vets because a lot of people take on pets, don't bother with insurance and then get upset when presented with a vet bill because they expect the vets to work for free because think it should be like the NHS in the uk.

Beaverhausen Tue 04-Dec-18 08:06:53

Mine is fine although they do charge £17 for a script. Most vets wont as they lose out, when volunteering for a national pet charity I was shocked at how much a vaccine costs a vet to buy in and how much they charge us which is basically a 95% increase in what they have to pay and then we get an additional charge on top for them to dispense the medication too.

missmouse101 Tue 04-Dec-18 08:18:57

@Beaver, do you not grasp the absolute basics of business? The vaccine you pay for has to cover vets' wages, nurses' wages, rent for premises, receptionist wages, heating, lighting, insurance, bills, equipment, some massively expensive such as scanners and blood test machines, servicing, maintenance, disposables, cpd....... that's just for a start.

BiteyShark Tue 04-Dec-18 08:19:00

I was shocked at how much a vaccine costs a vet to buy in and how much they charge us which is basically a 95% increase in what they have to pay and then we get an additional charge on top for them to dispense the medication too.

Of course they charge extra to dispense. I prefer a trained vet to check my dog over first for any contraindications before injecting him and yes we have delayed vaccinations when they weren't happy with his current health. Those vets cost money to hire and the practice has running costs. All of which must be covered with extra for profit with any consultation.

villainousbroodmare Tue 04-Dec-18 08:19:49

Do you walk in to your vets and have a vaccine simply whacked into your animal and out the door, Beaverhausen ?
Or does your vet review the history, discuss the animal's health, behaviour, diet, weight or anything else you wish, review chronic medication, examine the animal from head to toe - when has your GP ever done that? - and v likely throw in a free nail clip and/ or anal gland expression. We use these annual checks to advise on dental work, blood tests or any procedures needed, and probably book them there and then to be performed within the week. This is where we identify the needs of the animal before it reaches crisis point. And if you need meds, they are provided in house instead of you trailing off to explain your story to a pharmacist.

Tim720 Tue 04-Dec-18 08:32:00

The whole issue of inflated vets fees started with pet insurance. They ramped the feed up because the insurer pays .

BiteyShark Tue 04-Dec-18 08:37:24

Or maybe the fees are more because with insurance we can provide the same medical care as I expect for myself.

I have private medical care because I want consultations and treatment straight away even for non emergency conditions.

For my dog I am glad they didn't just open him up to see if there was an obstruction but imaged him beforehand to confirm before putting him through a major operation. I am also glad he could have an endoscopy and biopsies to confirm a condition rather than just throwing medication at him and guessing what might be wrong.

My parents dogs never had any of that but vet care has come a long way and I am grateful. You of course can make a decision to just go with the cheapest option you want but I am glad of insurance and not having to sometimes choose between whether to go for the best thing or the cheapest thing.

BiteyShark Tue 04-Dec-18 08:38:37

Sorry OP this has kind of derailed the original question.

missmouse101 Tue 04-Dec-18 08:45:49

Derailed slightly, but still relevant. Completely reasonable for the vet to charge for writing the prescription. Completely understandable for them to be unhappy at doing so, for clients to purchase prescription only medicines from unregulated websites who have never even seen your pet or care a shit about it.

Hoppinggreen Tue 04-Dec-18 09:21:12

Although (most) vets are animal lovers they are also in business and often have staff wages etc to pay before they pay themselves
I’m not saying any of them are on the breadline but they spend a lot of time and money getting qualified and like any business they can charge what they want.
People seem to be confused about vets being a business because it’s a “caring “ profession but that’s what they are. Many do pro bono work as well, especially with wildlife but they aren’t The NHS

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 04-Dec-18 12:22:44

So the the average Vet in the UK qualifies with 100k of debt, having spent five years training with no opportunity to earn money during the course as they have to do work experience during the breaks from Uni.
The rise in vets fees in the last 20 years has been a combination of a variety of things increased client expectations due to money being no object as they are insured, increased ability to work up more complex cases 20 years ago a Cushing work up only happened in specialists practices it now happens every day in ordinary practices and finally increased overhead costs ( these have risen dramatically).

tabulahrasa Tue 04-Dec-18 12:27:17

“They ramped the feed up because the insurer pays .”

They don’t - things cost more because people want the same tests and treatment as human medicine provides... and that is expensive.

I once got an itemised bill for a 5.5k operation, because it was from the vet school it was 3 pages of everything itemised including how many sutures he’d had grin

There was nothing on there that was “extra” or even particularly expensive, but when you’ve got the separate bill for hours in surgery x nurses, anaesthetist & surgeons you can see exactly how quickly it adds up tbh.

Before imaging and access to specialists and complicated procedures were widely available - my dog would have died and it’s that stuff that drives costs up.

(Perforated ulcer with atypical presentation, ending with a partial duodenectomy and bowel resection...in case anyone wondered)

LizzieBennettDarcy Tue 04-Dec-18 12:40:34

Our vet has been amazing for the last 5 years and I chose them because they run their own OOH service. We've had amazing help/support when our dog was badly injured in an attack earlier this year.

But sadly they've now been bought out by a larger chain - and the bills have roughly doubled in the last 6 months. I dug out a bill from last year when my dog had colitis - same antibiotics/pro-kolin paste and a standard weekday appointment. Last year was £46, this week cost me £75.

I am now honestly wondering if I can afford to stay there given the price hike. I appreciate they are a business, not a charity but it saddens me all the same.

BiteyShark Tue 04-Dec-18 12:49:54

LizzieBennettDarcy I wonder why they were bought out? Could it have been because they couldn't cover their costs?

Vets are a business so as a consumer you can shop around. I am sure I could find a cheaper vets but mine has lots of imaging and diagnostic equipment and a team of vets which means when my dog has been seriously ill I have been able to access treatment quickly.

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