1. Be sure your vet is willing to write a prescription that will let you buy medication elsewhere, if you want. If not, consider finding another vet.
2. If your pet needs a medication for preventive care or for a long-term chronic condition, ask the vet for a prescription you can fill at a less expensive outlet. The vet may even suggest where to go for lower prices.
3. Ask the vet whether there’s a less-expensive, human drug equivalent. That’s what journalist Maryann Mott did after her vet prescribed a pricey animal-only antibiotic. “When I balked at the cost, she wrote a script for Cephalexin, a human generic, that I purchased elsewhere,” Mott wrote on petside.com. “The savings? $52.”
4. If the drug is also used to treat humans, shop around. Call local drugstores or visit their websites to compare prices. Also check the cost at online pet pharmacies, such as 1-800-PetMeds, Drs. Foster & Smith and PetCareRX. Don’t overlook the discount drug card programs offered by many retailers, as well as such sites as Needymeds.org, AAA and AARP. Many of these programs cover veterinary drugs as well as human medications.
5. If you buy online, order from one of the 18 sites that belong to Vet-VIPPS accredited pharmacies. Vet-VIPPS stands for Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites, a program run by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. These sites comply with federal and state licensing requirements and quality assurance.