CVMA | Documents | Pet Medications

Pet Medications

September 11, 2013

A valid veterinarian-client-patient-relationship must exist before a veterinarian can prescribe or dispense a medication for your pet. This is referred to as the VCPR and it is required by law. The VCPR usually involves face-to-face communication and an exam of your pet, which allows your veterinarian to determine the health status of your pet before making any treatment recommendations. 
Your pet’s medication will be dispensed either over the counter (i.e., you’ll take it home with you directly from the veterinary hospital) or though prescription. The majority of clients prefer the convenience of taking the prescription home with them when they leave the veterinary hospital. Buying your pet’s medication directly from your veterinary hospital has a number of advantages:
  • The convenience of one-stop shopping. Your pet is examined and diagnosed during your appointment and your prescription is filled immediately without delaying the onset of treatment. 
  • Veterinarians almost always have the drug available on-site at a dosage and form appropriate for the patient. 
  • Veterinary healthcare teams are knowledgeable about veterinary drugs and the patient’s medical history. They are able to adequately answer questions about the administration of medications and any potential adverse reactions. 
  • Veterinary drugs are carefully developed by manufacturers for a specific species and for a specific medical condition, and clinical trials are conducted on that species to test the efficacy of the drugs. 
  • Veterinarians will often report adverse reactions to drug manufacturers. This ensures drug safety and improved quality and efficacy of veterinary drugs. 
Cost of Pet Medications
Veterinary practices are independent small businesses that set their prices based on the cost of delivering the product. The cost of your pet’s medications is determined by several factors, such as the wholesale cost of the medication and the cost of maintaining and disposing of inventory. The wholesale cost of pet medicines is set by the drug manufacturers. Questions about wholesale pricing should be directed to the drug manufacturers themselves.