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Pet medicine massively overpriced

By - 27 September 2012 19

My cat has a thyroid problem and we had to get a Methamazole paste to keep it under control. 

Early this year, the vet organised it without giving us the option of filling the script ourselves – $212 for 3 months. 

It was supplied by an outfit in Sydney and shipped down taking 3 days.  The next time we needed the script I wanted to do it quickly and the vet said there was the option of getting it filled in Canberra. 

I went to the Ainslie pharmacy who have set up a compounding room. 

$85 for the same amount exactly – so  I was ripped off $127!  I am outraged. 

The vet does always take a cut when organising medicines, its part of the deal with the Sydney mob. 

Most of us do not have pet insurance so this is all out of pocket expenses and we do it because we love our animals and don’t want to see them suffer. 

The lesson is ask if you can get the script filled.  The vet will not generally tell you this.  In this case it would have been cheaper and quicker.

What’s Your opinion?


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19 Responses to
Pet medicine massively overpriced
cleo 12:25 am 28 Sep 12

Also he is looking after that side of things, doesn’t mean he has retired, just doing operations. didn’t finish what I had to say.

cleo 12:22 am 28 Sep 12

I hope Peter Burgess, hasn’t retired, as I have moved to the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and I intend on coming down and bringing my dog, as he is the only vet I admire for his work, and compassion, honesty, a fantastic vet. I want my dogs teeth cleaned, she will be put under.
I know he likes doing operations, and I believe that’s what his decided to do, as he told me himself as my memory serves me.

kakosi 12:18 am 28 Sep 12

Medicines for animals are very similar to those for humans and sometimes exactly the same – the government subsidises medicines for humans but for pets you pay the full over-inflated drug company price.

This is the main reason I don’t have a pet any longer – too expensive. I was paying thousands of dollars every year for simple surgeries and medicines towards the end of my cat’s life. I don’t know how anyone can afford to keep a pet these days.

TheDancingDjinn 10:15 pm 27 Sep 12

Masquara said :

Antagonist said :

JazzyJess said :

I thought Peter retired? I second the recommendation though. He’s ace.

I heard that one too, and +1 the recommendation if he is still about.

Burgess retired a couple of months ago. Best vet ever – he looked after my entire family’s pets for 30 years.

The practice is still there under his name as i was there 3 weeks ago – i don’t know if he was the vet doing the surgery for the cat i care for, but the cat is great and the service impeccable. lovely people

Masquara 5:45 pm 27 Sep 12

Antagonist said :

JazzyJess said :

I thought Peter retired? I second the recommendation though. He’s ace.

I heard that one too, and +1 the recommendation if he is still about.

Burgess retired a couple of months ago. Best vet ever – he looked after my entire family’s pets for 30 years.

Antagonist 2:45 pm 27 Sep 12

JazzyJess said :

I thought Peter retired? I second the recommendation though. He’s ace.

I heard that one too, and +1 the recommendation if he is still about.

JazzyJess 2:10 pm 27 Sep 12

TheDancingDjinn said :

Peter Burgess – on the corner of Batman and Limestone Ave. Wonderful caring vets and very reasonably priced. Recently there was a feral cat living in my yard in Spence, i feed the currawongs meat and he was coming up to sneak it when i was away, so i started to buy him his own food and now he is a regular cat who is loving and snugly – we took him recently as he had an injury to his foot, and we thought while we were there we would have him desexed. All up for the desexing, and cleaning and fixing an abscess that was on his foot, plus a weeks worth of antibiotics ( funnily enough the same amoxacillin the GP gives my kids when they have infections) all for $150. i cant recommend them enough, they really helped us out and now the cat is way more happy and healthy 🙂

I thought Peter retired? I second the recommendation though. He’s ace.

hk0reduck 1:49 pm 27 Sep 12

Granted this information is 12 years old now but take a look at the ABS Data for this industry:
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/8564.0/

It takes 6 years full-time theoretical study at university to be qualified and then another couple of practical years until you are actually competent in the field.


During 1999-2000, the return to practitioner (defined as wages and salaries paid to practitioners, plus operating profit before tax of practices, divided by the number of practitioners) in the veterinary services industry was $68,600. The return to practitioner varied according to practice size with the return for single practitioner practices being $84,900, while the return to practitioner for practices with 5 or more practitioners was $60,900.”

They probably need to “rip you off” to make staying in business worth it.

mr_spoon 1:17 pm 27 Sep 12

I suspect the rising costs of trips to the vet has to do with three things directly related to the practice of veterinary medicine. Firstly, medical technology and pharmaceuticals are cool, new stuff is always becoming available, and the new stuff is always very expensive. Secondly, like people doctors, vets live in fear of missing something or misdiagnosing something, and so will tend to order as many tests as they can rather than rely just on their own judgment – the fear of litigation is part of this, but letting a patient down is probably most of it for most vets. Thirdly, unlike human doctors, vets can’t talk directly to their patients to find out where it hurts or how long it’s been happening. This reinforces the fear in two.

Every vet I’ve ever met has been a deeply caring human being who just wants the best for his or her patients. Sadly, thanks to progress, that best now includes some very expensive options.

Henry82 12:31 pm 27 Sep 12

So you’re saying people take advantage of others who are emotionally attached to a broken/damaged/injured/sick possession? mind blown

TheDancingDjinn 12:04 pm 27 Sep 12

Peter Burgess – on the corner of Batman and Limestone Ave. Wonderful caring vets and very reasonably priced. Recently there was a feral cat living in my yard in Spence, i feed the currawongs meat and he was coming up to sneak it when i was away, so i started to buy him his own food and now he is a regular cat who is loving and snugly – we took him recently as he had an injury to his foot, and we thought while we were there we would have him desexed. All up for the desexing, and cleaning and fixing an abscess that was on his foot, plus a weeks worth of antibiotics ( funnily enough the same amoxacillin the GP gives my kids when they have infections) all for $150. i cant recommend them enough, they really helped us out and now the cat is way more happy and healthy 🙂

Madam Cholet 10:43 am 27 Sep 12

Pet insurance doesn’t normally cover medication as far as I am aware – at least ours doeesn’t and never has. It’s more for fees relating to medical treatment as opposed to the ongoing medication. And as with any insurance there are premiums that need to be paid if you draw on your cover – normally around $400, so that would entirely outweigh your $212 for three months of medication.

Personally, I don’t think that’s overly expensive for three months worth, and you have to remember that the domestic animal world does not have a PBS scheme, although there may be cheaper generic products which vets should make you aware of. Of course it is going to become costly on an ongoing basis and it’s good that you have found the compounding place – a pharmacy, not possibly a manufacturer of veterinary medicines making a range of products for a range of afflictions, costing more etc etc.

YeahBuddy 10:42 am 27 Sep 12

Jan is an amazing vet, and prices are very low. She is even good with near fainting pet owners 🙂

But, I don’t think she is taking on new clients. At least that is what they said last time I was out there – would recommend calling ahead just in case

HHR 10:19 am 27 Sep 12

I recently received a similar wake up when I went to the vet to pick up a new bottle of epilepsy medication for my dog. They didn’t have the regular brand, Phenobarb, and sold me the generic version, Phenomav, instead, for half the price of the Phenobarb. In four years no vet had ever mentioned that there was an alternative generic version.

Morelia 10:05 am 27 Sep 12

The entire vet industry outrages me. A few years ago my cat had a “growth” on her lip. We took her to two separate vets who charged huge amounts of money for a biopsy and other tests and were unable to provide a clear answer, saying it was probably cancer and would be expensive to treat. Then a friend recommended going to Jan Spate in Hall. She took one look at it, declared it a rodent bite, gave her a dose of something and told us to come back in a few weeks. She probably charged something like $20.

Anyone who loves their pets and wants to do right by them should take them to Jan. There’s no appointments, you just turn up during opening hours (7am-10am and 5pm-7pm mon-sat) and wait in line. She’s cheaper than almost any vet I’ve seen, and seems to charge close to cost for medications. Everyone there seems to do it for the love of the animals.

I’m in no way associated with Jan Spate or being rewarded for this post.

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