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poodle3081

Vet Medication Charges

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I have a concern of the hidden charges by vets in regard to medication charges. What is fair price or mark up of medications?

When receiving a bill I would like to be charged for the consultation and the cost of medications/drugs plus a small mark up of around 10% to cover expenses.

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Not overly realistic. Standard mark up for anything in the business world would be 1/3 cost, 1/3 overheads and 1/3 profit and vets are in business to make profit as well. My vet has about a 50% mark up plus consult and I think that is reasonable

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Crisovar   

A Vet that only charges you 10% will not be covering their expenses, they will be running at a loss and you will be off looking for a new one pretty damn quick.

What do you consider to be hidden charges?

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When receiving a bill I would like to be charged for the consultation and the cost of medications/drugs plus a small mark up of around 10% to cover expenses.

Your car mechanic doesn't do that. Why should your vet?

Vet clinics generally have massive overheads, and the vets themselves (and vet nurses) all have to make a decent living off what they do. A vet that only charged 10% on drug mark up would soon go out of business, unless they had extremely expensive consultations.

Don't forget that some drugs are damn expensive to administer too. Being charged for a "bag of fluids" for example includes paying for someone to place the catheter, someone to monitor the fluids, the ongoing maintenance on the equipment involved, etc.

If you are concerned about what your clinic charges, ask them to break it down for you, or I guess you could shop around to make sure you're not getting ripped off. But expecting any clinic to charge such a minimal mark up on the drugs they've chosen, purchased, stored for you, possibly spent time getting further education about, and then prescribed to you, is pretty unrealistic IMO.

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A Vet that only charges you 10% will not be covering their expenses, they will be running at a loss and you will be off looking for a new one pretty damn quick.

What do you consider to be hidden charges?

Obviously the mark up on drugs is a hidden charge. A General Practioner in a medical clinic does not derive an income from the sale of drugs, you pay the fee for the work performed.

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jrm88   

What do you think other businesses use as a markup? 10%? No business would survive if they only marked up 10%!

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stormie   
A Vet that only charges you 10% will not be covering their expenses, they will be running at a loss and you will be off looking for a new one pretty damn quick.

What do you consider to be hidden charges?

Obviously the mark up on drugs is a hidden charge. A General Practioner in a medical clinic does not derive an income from the sale of drugs, you pay the fee for the work performed.

And you don't think your chemist has a mark up on the drugs you buy from them?

And what about the food you buy from Coles or Woolworths? That should be sold to you at cost price too?

The difference between your GP and your Vet, is that your Vet is your dogs GP, his pharmacist, his surgeon, his dentist etc etc etc. Your GP just tells you what drugs you need and lets your pharmacist do the work.

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A friend recently had her dog to vet for a sore eye and was charged $50 for the 15min consultation and $56 for the eye drops.

When I informed her that the cost price of the medication was around $20 she was not happy. I have also worked in an equipment service industry and it was the practice to have a service charge and the parts cost was rounded up to the nearest dollar.

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Lab lady   

if the vet only add 10% they would in fact make nothing once they paid the GST.

In an ideal world 10% would be great but it's not very realistic.

Have you required the services of a plumber or electrician lately.....they make vets look cheap.

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A friend recently had her dog to vet for a sore eye and was charged $50 for the 15min consultation and $56 for the eye drops.

When I informed her that the cost price of the medication was around $20 she was not happy. I have also worked in an equipment service industry and it was the practice to have a service charge and the parts cost was rounded up to the nearest dollar.

So you are saying that your friend would have been happy if the medicine had been charged at $22, and the appointment had cost $84?

Or did she just want to pay less money overall?

If it's the second, your friend needs to realise that vet clinics typically have huge overheads compared to human doctors, and yes, I'm afraid the vets do also have to make a profit so they can feed their own families and pay their own morgages and student loans. The money simply has to come from somewhere, and since the government doesn't subsidise animal health, it's going to have to come from the customer.

I think people forget how much medicine and surgery really cost, since our doctors and hospitals are subsidised by the government.

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A friend recently had her dog to vet for a sore eye and was charged $50 for the 15min consultation and $56 for the eye drops.

When I informed her that the cost price of the medication was around $20 she was not happy. I have also worked in an equipment service industry and it was the practice to have a service charge and the parts cost was rounded up to the nearest dollar.

So you are saying that your friend would have been happy if the medicine had been charged at $22, and the appointment had cost $84?

Or did she just want to pay less money overall?

She was happy to pay the bill as the vet told her the medication was expensive but had a long shelf life. Why not have the bill reflect the cost of the service; $75 plus $30 for the medication.

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$40 to $50 is the norm for a vet consult. I have no problem with this.

If you want to try and bring the cost of medication down then ask the vet if the product is a human product. If it is then they can write you out a script that you can get filled at a normal chemist. Unlike vets chemists are able to purchase drugs in massive bulk quantities so are able to sell them at a lower price.

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Ravyk   

I find that my vet always breaks the bill down. This way I know exactly what money went where.

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stormie   
A friend recently had her dog to vet for a sore eye and was charged $50 for the 15min consultation and $56 for the eye drops.

When I informed her that the cost price of the medication was around $20 she was not happy. I have also worked in an equipment service industry and it was the practice to have a service charge and the parts cost was rounded up to the nearest dollar.

So you are saying that your friend would have been happy if the medicine had been charged at $22, and the appointment had cost $84?

Or did she just want to pay less money overall?

She was happy to pay the bill as the vet told her the medication was expensive but had a long shelf life. Why not have the bill reflect the cost of the service; $75 plus $30 for the medication.

And so what happens when the people return for repeat prescriptions? We dish out the drugs at a loss?

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Miss B   

I don't mean to be rude, but as someone who works in the industry I think your expectations are a little unrealistic.

There is no point comparing human doctors to veterinarians, they are worlds apart.

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I don't mean to be rude, but as someone who works in the industry I think your expectations are a little unrealistic.

There is no point comparing human doctors to veterinarians, they are worlds apart.

As you work in the industry your response is predictable, as most professions will defend their industry practices. This does not alter the fact that a substantial profit is derived by the sale of drugs and it is not transparent to the client.

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Miss B   

Well I am not aware of any industry that provides the customer with a breakdown of product prices, including cost price and markup.

Plus your ideal of cost + 10% markup is simply not realistic.

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Kavik   

The only people who may be able to get some stuff at cost + 10% is staff with a staff discount (and may not get it for everything)

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The only people who may be able to get some stuff at cost + 10% is staff with a staff discount (and may not get it for everything)

The 10% is a notional figure I put forward as a contrast to the 100% plus that the industry operates on. There are examples of 300% mark up.

Is this excessive? When you visit a vet you are not in a position to "shop around" for the best price as the drugs are only given after the diagnosis.

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