Why Is There a Prescription Fee For Medicines?

Prescription fees can work!  In a nutshell, if you can save more than $12 on a prescription filled at a human (legitimate) pharmacy, it makes sense.  Here’s a case that illustrates it:

Hey Erik
Samson is on Gabapentin for $xx a month and Proin for $xx a month the Deramaxx is $111 per month. Is there an alternative in the range of Gabapentin and Proin we could consider for his knees and hips? Just trying to reduce the dog meds budget line from $160 total to something a little less.

Russell W.


Deramaxx is rivaled by Novox, And Rimadyl.
They’re not the same thing, but close.
Empathizing here: I’d check with someone at the office and see if Deramaxx, Novox and Rimadyl are close in price, or if one represents a decent savings. They’re about 15% under in effectiveness – – BUT if they’re more than 15% less money, I think it would be worth it!

In human medicine: Have you ever noticed that sometimes an entire prescription is LESS than the copay? Meaning, sometimes your insurance copay is $21 but if you ask the self pay rate the prescription was only $16 to begin with? It’s common. Prescriptions are stupid that way, sometimes.
Why am I mentioning it?
We charge a prescription / recording fee of $12 I think, to write something out and keep up with it in the medical record, and we don’t prescribe to online pharmacies because there isn’t one (for pets) that operates within the law and I know that’s amazing but despite their ‘legit’ look, there is next-to-no FDA enforcement of Pharmacy standards. For the longest time, 800PetMeds wholly owned it’s OWN “certifying agency” LOL (Organization: N.A.P.P.S.)
Why am I mentioning it?
I said all that to say this:
There *are* brick and mortar “legitimate” pharmacies that may have Deramaxx for *more than* $12 less than us – – by buying in bulk?
And if so, depending on what’s on the block, sometimes it’s worth it to buy at CVS or similar, (online human pharms okay) and save $50 by paying $12 – – if that makes sense.
So a client will sometimes save a chunk even after they cover the $12 record/Rx fee. And we keep up in their medical records with what they are getting from reputable sources.
OTHER times, Heather will discount larger amounts of medications. Because she can buy a bottle and know that half of it’s already off the shelf.
I’m copying this to her in case she has input.

Sometimes it’s worth it to buy at CVS or similar, (online human pharmacies okay) and save $50 by paying $12

To the question about the arthritis: There’s some neato stuff coming out about DHEA in dogs.
As well, Phycox being used as a “nutritional supplement” because it contains vitamins, glucosamine, and several powerful natural anti-oxidants now.
That’s a “For What It’s Worth” kind of thing when the situation with the other medications gets ironed out.

Have a great day!


Another entry / post on Prescription fees at Johnson Vet dealing MORE SPECIFICALLY with online PET pharmacies.







Dr Erik Johnson is a Marietta, Georgia Veterinarian with a practice in small animal medicine. He graduated from University of Georgia with his Doctorate in 1991. Dr Johnson is the author of several texts on Koi and Pond Fish Health and Disease as well as numerous articles on dog and cat health topics.