TAMPA – Chain store pharmacies have more than just people drugs on their shelves.
Some retail giants now fill your cat or dog’s prescription too.
“Those compared to what you get at your veterinarian — significantly less,” said Amy Stanley, Target Pharmacy Business Partner.
Four bucks is what you’ll pay for some, but not all, pet medication at Target. Publix offers some pet antibiotics for free. Other big box stores like Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart will fill pet prescriptions too.
They are some of the same medications pharmacies stock for us, only in doggy doses, which is why dog owners like Kerry Dudley chose to fill and buy them here instead of from a vet.
“You have to shop, and its well, well worth it,” she said.
While saving money is a good thing, a local vet says it may not be the best option for your animal’s health.
“Our training in veterinary physiology and veterinary pharmacology or how drugs act in the body, is important,” said Dale Mabry’s Animal Hospital’s Hansel Leavengood, D.V.M. He explains that a regular pharmacist doesn’t have a vet’s medical expertise or training.
Florida law means vets are required to hand over a written prescription if a client requests it. Federal legislation would make vets go a step further, forcing them to physically give the script to the client every time — request or not. The client would then have the option to hand it back or take it somewhere else to fill.
The American Veterinary Medical Association is lobbying against ‘The Fairness to Pet Owners Act.’ An AVMD representative says they are not against cheaper or more available veterinary drugs but they do oppose the administrative burden it would put on vets.
“All they can do is fill the prescription, they cannot, in most cases, inform the client,” Leavengood pointed out.
He says he wants his pet owners to have both — good prices and the best care.
He matches low prices when he can, but when drugs are free, he says, he can’t compete.