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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
To all those who have replied I thank you. The truth can be uncomfortable to deal with and those prescriptions written for Tramadol are real. I live in Canada and perhaps the way pharmacies deal with prescriptions is different there compared to the USA. I don't know. I would also raise the question as to whether several of the respondents to this thread may in fact be sympathetic to or work in the veterinary industry. The content on the website I quoted from resonated with my experience and with many others I know who have dealt with certain veterinary practices. I would finally add that there is nothing like "ad hominem" attacks when folks don't like the message they are hearing. I would therefore encourage people to keep themselves informed and to look out for their pets and themselves.

NAMU 123
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
To Gingerkid,

Thank you for your feedback. I hadn't thought about the appropriateness of a veterinarian prescribing 80 tablets of tramadol for post operative pain, especially when it indicated that the tramadol was to be used on as an as needed basis or three times a day. That I suppose is another issue entirely.
On another point you raised, it's my understanding that veterinarians don't charge in Canada an additional fee for writing a prescription for a medication that a client wants to fill at a human pharmacy apart from what they are charging for the consultation. My friend wasn't charged one to get her tramadol prescription filled at a human pharmacy.

Parus has also questioned the use of tramadol for arthritis. My friend was told that the tramadol was to be used again on an as needed basis if her dog seemed to be having pain from his arthritis. If what Parus is saying is true about the use of that drug in arthritis (i.e. that it is not effective), how was my friend supposed to know that when her veterinarian is telling her something else?

All of this just goes to show that the more informed that we are as pet owners the better off we and our pets will be.

NAMU 123
 

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I just think it's rather rich for you to be railing about dishonest veterinarians when you're being dishonest here yourself. You're demanding transparency from other people, which is fair enough, without practicing it. And given that you started out the thread with a lie, I think a person would have to be a little credulous to take all your other anecdotes at face value as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Dear Parus,

I have not lied about anything I have stated. I am sorry that our conversation has descended to this level. I have to wonder why you have reacted the way you have. I have never stated that veterinarians are dishonest contrary to what you claim. I have said that I have learned that medications obtained via prescription are cheaper for a pet owner than when they are dispensed by a veterinarian and that owners should be aware of that. I have encouraged pet owners to be informed about their choices. It's that simple. If owners want to pay more for their medications that is their choice. I personally however would prefer to keep my money in my pocket rather than have it reside in someone's bank account.


NAMU 123
 

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"I have said that I have learned that medications obtained via prescription are cheaper for a pet owner than when they are dispensed by a veterinarian"

Except that..that is not always the case. Because human meds vary in price for cash payers so a vet cannot easily know what the cash price is. Unless the scripts in Canada are being filled for dogs at the same subsidized price they are for humans?

Unless your area has none of the opiod crisis issues that affect vast areas of North America, then yes, it is quite unusual and definitely raises an eyebrow for a vet to prescribe 80 Tramadol for "as needed" use regardless of source of pain. Too much risk of the drug being sold or stolen by someone with access to the family medicine cabinet and all it would take to refill is to say the dog "needed" the maximum dosage. This makes it reasonable for us to question the details of the costs etc.

Regardless of your intent, your posts come across as someone first wanting a solution to their own problem (filling med needs on the road or at different locations) to someone looking to discredit vet practices (practices which no one here have seemed to have encountered) and discrediting other peoples firsthand observations as somehow biased.
 

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On another point you raised, it's my understanding that veterinarians don't charge in Canada an additional fee for writing a prescription for a medication that a client wants to fill at a human pharmacy apart from what they are charging for the consultation. My friend wasn't charged one to get her tramadol prescription filled at a human pharmacy.
It depends on the vet, the type of practice they do, and the relationship the client has with them as well. When we saw a specialist and she prescribed human medications for my dog's stomach problem, she didn't charge one, but she was also based out of one of the biggest practices in the city that includes a 24-h emergency hospital, so they likely don't have the resources to fill outpatient prescriptions. But I have been to vets who do charge a prescription fee, especially if it is a medication that they already stock. The fee would also be charge by the vet, not by the pharmacy.

Tramadol is a last-resort treatment for severe arthritis, to be added to a non-steroidal anti-inflamatory like carprofen (Rimadyl) or meloxicam (Metacam). Because arthritis is an inflammatory disease, most of the relief comes from alleviating inflammation, which opioids like tramadol are not effective for.

"I have said that I have learned that medications obtained via prescription are cheaper for a pet owner than when they are dispensed by a veterinarian"

Except that..that is not always the case. Because human meds vary in price for cash payers so a vet cannot easily know what the cash price is. Unless the scripts in Canada are being filled for dogs at the same subsidized price they are for humans?
Canada actually has the second highest drug prices in the world, behind only the US.

The price that the pharmacies in Canada pay for their drugs is set by the federal and provincial governments, but is not subsidized. A subsidy is where the government provides monetary support to the manufacturer, so that they can charge a lower price to the end consumer, but that's not how drug pricing works in Canada. Instead, we have government-funded insurance plans, but most provincial plans do not cover outpatient prescriptions, and when they do, the plan pays the amount that the consumer would've instead paid out of pocket. Across the country, your prescription is linked to your provincial health care number. If there is no health care number on the prescription, the pharmacy charges you out of pocket, instead of charging your insurance (whether provincial or private). Either way, because the price is determined by the government, rather than negotiated with a bunch of different insurance providers, a human pharmacy charges my insurance company the same price for my Xanax as I would pay for Ida's. The price I pay for xanax may be slightly different at a pharmacy down the road, but it has nothing to do with whether the prescription is covered by insurance or not (and most of the difference in price between pharmacies is due to differences in dispensing fees, which are not typically covered by private insurance or provincial health plans).

This is also a huge over-simplification of Canadian drug pricing/coverage, but the short answer is: yes, pharmacies charge the same price for my drugs as for my dog's.

ETA: Full disclosure: I work in (human) healthcare research. There are bad apples (and corruption) in every field. It is important to keep yourself informed, but it is just as important to not paint every individual in an entire profession with one broad stroke, especially for something so extreme.
 

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Gingerkid--
Thanks for the explanation of medication costs and payments in Canada. Learn something new everyday. My familiarity with Canadian drug prices is limited to knowing people who had to order prescription meds from Canada (non-controlled meds! Stuff like heart medication) due to lack of insurance or high deductibles here. Cash pay including shipping was often half or 2/3s of what the insured price was here....

I think I was using the word "subsidized" as too blanket of term trying to cover the idea of price oversight. It seems closer to say, rent control than to housing vouchers.
 

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I think I was using the word "subsidized" as too blanket of term trying to cover the idea of price oversight. It seems closer to say, rent control than to housing vouchers.
That's a good analogy, especially for newer, patented drugs that don't have a generic version yet.
 
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