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Old August 5th, 2013, 11:01 AM
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Getting your pet meds at a human pharmacy

Hi members!

Often, when we buy meds for ourselves and compare that same medication for our pets, the price difference is astronomical. Given that the active ingredient is in lower concentrations, this price difference makes no sense EXCEPT to give the drug's manufacturer and (possibly) the vet (depending on the Vet's markup) more profit.

I just heard that a Costco Pharmacy in Montreal will accept a pet's prescription and save you loads of cash.

The med in question was Celebrex and the Costco pharmacist was able to crush down a larger dose of pills and weigh out the appropriate dose for a dog's weight.

Anyone else ever do this and opinions of this?

Thx!
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Old August 5th, 2013, 01:31 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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I lives the states and with the cost of gas being almost $4.00 per gallon going to Costco would not save me $$$. That is great it works for you. I did buy Marty some pet med at CVS for his dog bite.
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Old August 5th, 2013, 01:43 PM
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that's what i wanted to know actually.

So CVS (pharmacy chain in the USA) will accept a pet's prescription without issue? I think that's way way cool - how long have they been doing that?

Any other members have similar experiences?
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Old August 5th, 2013, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marko View Post
that's what i wanted to know actually.

So CVS (pharmacy chain in the USA) will accept a pet's prescription without issue? I think that's way way cool - how long have they been doing that?

Any other members have similar experiences?
I am not sure how long CVS been doing that , as I go to Rite Aide . I had to go to CVS because they're the only one open 24 hours. Rite Aide will fill pet meds too but they took over's Brook's Drug 2 years ago so I can't say how long Rite Aide been doing this. Sorry I could not tell how long
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Old August 5th, 2013, 02:12 PM
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This is GOOD news!!

The more the word gets out that this is possible, the lower the price will become.

Now I'm way curious if this policy is widespread in Canada - Calling Jean Coutu (Quebec pharmacy chain) shortly.

Actually I just called - seems ANY pharmacy in Quebec will fill a vet's prescription - way cool.

Thx!
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  #6  
Old August 5th, 2013, 07:35 PM
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Aztec even has his own "profile" at the pharmacy (London Drugs). The pharmacists there are fabulous and totally interested in his care and how he's doing. Whenever I go in, they ask if I'm picking up for me or for Aztec (and almost seem disappointed when it's just something for me ).
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Old August 5th, 2013, 07:42 PM
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Hi Marko:
Maybe I can help shed a wee bit of light on this subject, from what I have learned
.
A few years back I had to get prescriptions for Missy and the prices were exhorbitant.

Per chance I happened to be talking to a pharmacist who is a friend, and mentioned to him what had happened. He requested the product to have a look at it. After studying it, he said that he could have filled the prescription for about a fifth the price.

On further conversations with him over a period of time, I found out that his license covered him to do prescriptions for animals.

Just recently I've been in to our pharmacy, where we now live, firing questions at one of the pharmacists in regards to cutting supplements in order to administer them to the cats. He in turn put me in touch with another pharmacist on the floor, who he said was qualified to do animal prescriptions.

That's when I found out that when it comes to certain prescriptions that have to be made up for a specific problem and animal size, that this pharmacist is qualified to do veterinary medications. He normally covers the majority of prescription drugs for the different offices in the area.

In the last town where we lived, our pharmacist friend told us that in the future if we were ever needing to have a prescription filled for an animal given to us by a vet, to bring it to him and he could fill it.

Most of the veterinary offices have only the capacity to dispense medications that are already pre-made by the pharmaceuticals and they just sell them through their dispensaries. They normally don't have a licensed pharmacist on staff or on duty to make anything special up.

I'll be talking to our pharmacist within the next week and I'll try to get some clarifications - how the prescriptions work, in regards to getting them filled at the drugstore. And if seniors can get them under any drug plan they might have. That might also apply to folks who might be on a disability plan or something. Perhaps the animal can be classed as a "dependant". Who knows? Worth looking into ???????????
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Old August 6th, 2013, 07:25 AM
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VERY much worth looking into - thx for the info Reg and others. I also found this report from earlier this year. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/britis...ary-costs.html

I believe this policy is Widespread throughout Canada but since prescriptions are under provincial jurisdiction, individual provinces may vary. In Canada's 3 largest provinces; Ontario, Quebec, and B.C. it's no problem.

So NOW the only issue might be, do you feel comfortable asking your vet to write out the prescription? If you have a long relationship with your vet, I could see how some vets may feel insulted and some customers too shy to ask.
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  #9  
Old August 6th, 2013, 07:38 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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http://www.petpharm.org/index-can.htm

The place at the link IS also a human pharmacy. I go in person sometimes or order by mail.

Here are some catches you should look into. Check whether the manufacturer of the drug will guarantee it if you buy from other than your Vet. According to a person I spoke with at one big pharma you will be backed up in Canada if you purchase from a Vet or a pharmacist licensed in Canada. Of course you will need a Rx and that's part of the catch, it must contain specific dosing instructions. And your Vet may charge you for the Rx if you don't buy it from him.

This is NOT the case in the U.S. where you must buy from your Vet in order to get backup on the drug, if needed. This is the part you must double check, I was told it some years ago. I don't understand why big animal pharma in the U.S. would not backup a drug purchased through a licensed U.S. pharmacist but such is what I was told and I was told it is because of different rules and regulations governing the pharma industry there. But I don't remember exactly how it went.

This is for pet specific meds. If you buy human drugs that have not yet been cleared for use on animals you probably will not have back up from the manufacturer but you should have something from your Vet. We did this when our ESS responded best to the human asthma drug instead of the one used most for dogs at the time. They were not available through my Vet (so she did not charge to write the Rx because it was something she could not supply) and we got it at our own human pharmacy. When Whisper died we gave the leftover pills to my MIL.

If you buy over the internet and are not required to submit a Rx for meds that usually require one then all bets are off. If you insist on doing this check the website of the drug you are getting; some sites have areas where they show you what to watch out for in knock off meds. They might show you what the packaging should look like, common places where a photo or something is different, expiry dates, other packaging like say, the real one always has each pill in a separate blister bubble but the knock off throws them all together.

When I first investigated ordering pet meds online I did find a place that was reassuringly in Winnipeg and had a Vet licensed in Canada to cover the warranty issue. They even gave me his name when I enquired. Guess what? He was NOT licensed as a Vet in Winnipeg or Manitoba. I communicated by email with the authority that licenses Vets in Manitoba and it turned out the address the place was using was an empty warehouse. I don't know what happened from there. Please do your due diligence, which is what Marko is doing here, and be very careful who you buy any meds from, yourself or your pet.
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Old August 6th, 2013, 12:10 PM
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We order from an online pharmacy in the States, Longblades, using a prescription from our vet. Not sure what you mean by 'backup' but the meds we receive are human grade and we avoid the 400% markup taken by the vet (or should we say we don't miss it at all? ). Of course, for the biggest savings you have to buy in bulk--with 8 dogs, we order the convenient 500 ct bottles, so we're able to see very significant savings.

The online pharmacy we use has an on-duty pharmacist (very important because many drug companies will not sell directly to a distributor without going through a registered pharmacist or vetrinarian) and all drugs are ordered through reliable sources.

Our vet doesn't charge us for writing the prescription--but we've been going there for 30 years and are probably one of their biggest customers, so I'm not sure if that's an exception to their usual rule or not...
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Old August 6th, 2013, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marko View Post
So NOW the only issue might be, do you feel comfortable asking your vet to write out the prescription? If you have a long relationship with your vet, I could see how some vets may feel insulted and some customers too shy to ask.
When Loki was put on thyroid medication, we were upfront with the vet and said we were going to call around for different prices at various pharmacies. Surprisingly enough, the human form of the thyroid meds was going to be more expensive than what the vet was offering. She had absolutely no problem with us shopping around.

At the end of the day, it's my money and my pet. If I can save money, I will (as long as it's in my pet's best interest). If any vet is going to be insulted or give attitude because of that - then it's time for me to find a new vet.
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Old August 6th, 2013, 08:33 PM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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By "backup" from the drug manufacturer I mean will they recompense you if your dog gets the illness it is not supposed to or if the med. is deemed to have harmed your dog.
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Old August 7th, 2013, 09:13 AM
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Hmmmm...you know, I'm not sure what kinds of guarantees we have, regardless of how we order the meds. I know Merial paid our medical expenses when the Pack came down with some of the worms that Heartgard was supposed to protect against--but I'm not sure if Merial is required to do that by law or if it's just a policy they instituted as a PR measure. Most of what we order, though, are ear cleaners, toothpaste and antibiotics. So far, so good.
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Old August 7th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longblades View Post
By "backup" from the drug manufacturer I mean will they recompense you if your dog gets the illness it is not supposed to or if the med. is deemed to have harmed your dog.
Who does this 'deeming'?
That seems like a hard fight to win with a jillion mitigating factors and likely high priced lawyers involved to deny you anything you are entitled to - yup I'm cynical.

Seems to me if you buy your human medications from somewhere you trust and that medication can be dispensed at a dose correct for your pet...then the savings are more important than the 'backup' for the average person imo. If money is no object, then yes buying meds from your vet might be better because it saves you time.
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Old August 7th, 2013, 10:19 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Of course you are right that "deemed" sure sounds like it could be subjective.

And it was a Merial Canada rep that told me about the different manufacturer responsibilities between the U.S. and Canada. When Merial covered you, Hazel, had you not bought the stuff from your Vet?
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Old August 7th, 2013, 04:51 PM
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I'm not sure, Longblades. Certainly it was covered by a prescription, but I can't honestly remember if we were still buying it through the vet at that time or through the pharmacy.
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Old August 9th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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Last winter and part of spring that I spent in Mexico with all the tummy, fungus, etc issues we had (and thankfully it all went well )
I noticed that most vets will write a prescription for you. The vet where I took them would calculate with human grade brands the right dose, depending on their size, age and weight. Then you go to the pharmacy (human) and show the prescrpition and they get you the meds no one ever questioned me it's like "whatever", everyday stuff Only things you get at the clinic are things like vitamins, flea and ticks or very specific medications but most by far prescribed are the same as for humans.
I read on this thread that SCM's cat has even a profile in London Drugs so it shouldn't be a problem either... In theory.
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Old August 9th, 2013, 09:48 PM
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I was able to get into our pharmacy today and asked a few questions regards prescriptions for animals.

First of all, he said that all licensed pharmacists can dispense prescriptions for animals. A lot of pharmacists evidently are not comfortable doing that.

In our pharmacy, we have 2 pharmacists who have their preferences. One does for large animals including dogs and horses, and the one I was talking to prefers small animals - cats and dogs and other small ones.

One of the things he said was that here in Canada, it is not possible to sell medications for animals under drug plans - example, senior plans, or disability plans - although in some of the States it is legal.

He also said that they are finding that the vets are getting more into writing prescriptions than they used to, due to the amount of new medications that are being prescribed for the animals.

He also said that the vets in some of the practices, don't have some of the equipment required to properly measure and dispense the meds in the prescriptions.

He also said that most vets only have a small dispensory - no pharmacist - and in some cases they will contact a local pharmacist
to get prescriptions made up and then re-sell them to the customer.

I asked him about pricing and about vets charging for the prescriptions and he said to me that if that happened to me, it would be the last time that that vet would get any of my business. And that would be because we have the right to shop around for the best price and under certain circumstances it could be cheaper to purchase through the vet, depending on what the medication is.
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