Thursday, January 8, 2009

Veterinary Value

The vets look friendly, so why do I look so scared?Sounds like dad's had some fun over the past few days. Seems getting prescription drugs online is a a battle of pedantics.

Placing an order with an online pharmacy couldn't be easier. After choosing one of the many online it was simple to complete the order and make payment.

After receiving the order confirmation simply replying with the scanned copies of the two prescriptions, one for Epiphen and one for Previcox, the order part was complete.

Now this is where common sense leaves the room. The prescription for 90 x 60mg  tablets of Epiphen for a months supply means that each time I take the 1.5 tablet dose I'm prescribed, a small 60mg tablet must be broken in two. This isn't an accurate science as it often means the tablet crumbles into 3 or more parts.

So why not order 60 x 60mg and 60 x 30mg - the half size tablets? This equates to exactly the dosage on the prescription, but is more accurate and convenient.

Well it turns out that my current vet wont allow the tablets to be supplied in this way. The online pharmacy calls up my vet and asks if they can supply pills of the correct size and the vet says no!

I suspect that if dad were to ask the vet they would then say I need 3 separate prescriptions to do this. So the vet would charge more and profit more each month.

Dad nor I can see the sense in having to continue breaking pills - where it is not a recommended practice as the dosage can not be precisely controlled. But it would appear that for nothing other than protecting their profits, my current vet insist we must stick to the prescription tablet size and quantity exactly, despite them having supplied half size tablets when they themselves have had them in stock.

Well that appears to be the last straw. Dad got on the phone a called a few more veterinary surgeries and was advised by his boss to call one local to where he works. After a very helpful conversation with the veterinary nurse it turns out that they are willing to assist and can provide a 3 month prescription - either as monthly repeats or as a single 3 month quantity - for £12!!! Yes, that's right, a saving of £6 per month.

Of course this means that I must come under their care and be seen by one of their surgeons, but the savings in prescription charges more than compensates for this. Other parts of the conversation relating to consultancy charges and prices for blood tests suggest even more savings.

So in February we're going to go pay this new veterinary surgery a visit. The extra good news for me is that I get to go to work with dad whenever I need to go see the doctor. It does mean dad would have to drive 35 miles each way if he wasn't going in to work, but as he's in work most every day, it seems like a reasonable trade off.

In all it pays to shop around. You can never ask too many questions and it pays to do some research online so you can get as much information as possible.

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