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Vets overcharge for pet medicine

Prices can cost more than double via your vet


Consumers who don’t have pet insurance are paying more than twice as much to cure pet ailments if they go to their vet rather than shopping online or on the high street.

Research reveals that best-selling pet drugs can cost considerably more through health professionals. It found that a six-pack of Frontline flea tablets can be purchased online for £16.33. The same packet is currently being sold in some practices for as much as £38.95. 

A 3.5g bottle of Optimmune eye ointment is similarly cheaper online, costing £23.86 compared with £59.50 from a veterinary practice in north London. 

High-street retailers are also offering better deals for pet owners. A six-pack of flea treatment costs just £25, while the same medication costs from £32.20 to £59.81 from vet practices. 

Cheaper to shop online

Adrian Evans from veterinary pharmacy Vet-Medic, which commissioned the research, said: ‘We made an assumption that online shopping should come out cheaper, but were staggered by how much.’

British Veterinary Association president-elect Harvey Locke defended the pricing structure employed by practices: ‘Veterinary practices will mark up the cost of the medicines they supply in order to cover the costs of keeping and dispensing them.’

Pet insurance  

The cost of caring for a pet can prove expensive. For some people the most sensible approach can be to take out insurance to cover their dogs and cats. For more information, see the Which? pet insurance guide.

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