Veterinary generics: Good medicine and good business (Sponsored by Putney Inc.)

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Veterinary generics: Good medicine and good business (Sponsored by Putney Inc.)

Veterinary clients want to enjoy the benefits of generic pet medicines, and they're looking for veterinarians who prescribe them. Are you on board?
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Nov 17, 2015

Why generics? It’s easy to understand

Image courtesy of Putney Inc.While 88% of all drug prescriptions for people in the U.S. are filled with a generic product1—which saves consumers more than $200 billion each year2—prescribing veterinary generic drugs is a recent introduction to the veterinary profession. And it’s a practice that veterinarians should adopt as routine. It’s not just good medicine, it’s good business.

As veterinarians, we should embrace the use of FDA approved veterinary generic drugs because they are bioequivalent to their brand-name counterparts—thus they are as safe and effective—and they cost less than brand medicines. Veterinary generics must undergo rigorous FDA review before approval—just as generic drugs approved for use in people must be reviewed.  Claims that veterinary generics are not as safe or effective as the brand are simply not true.

Generics are not new drugs. Veterinary generics have the same active ingredients and the same indications as the brand-name drugs we veterinarians prescribe every day. Substituting a veterinary generic for a brand-name veterinary drug should be automatic for veterinarians, similar to the human medical profession where physicians adopt generic drugs at a rate of over 80% within one year of a generic drug’s launch.3

Physicians and their patients understand that generics are the same medicines that cost less. Now pet owners want to enjoy the benefits of generic pet medicines, too, and they are looking for veterinarians who are already prescribing them.

 

Veterinary generics bolster practice viability and client confidence

The affordability of veterinary generic drugs provides multiple benefits for your practice. Your clinic’s pharmacy profitability improves and your clients’ loyalty deepens.

Because veterinary generic drugs cost less than brand-name drugs, stocking your pharmacy with veterinary generics reduces overhead costs and lets you price drugs competitively with local big-box commercial pharmacies and online retailers so that fewer of your clients’ prescriptions walk out the door. Keep in mind that if clients ask for one prescription to be filled outside the veterinary hospital, they usually ask that all their pets’ prescriptions be handled in the same way, resulting in a loss of multiple drug sales over a long time period.

The good news is that your clients would prefer to leave your practice with their pets’ medications in hand.4 But clients are price sensitive, and they are accustomed to relying on both the cost savings and high quality of generic drugs. By offering veterinary generic drugs, you can provide affordable pet medicines conveniently for your clients and retain the benefits of those sales in your practice.

Perhaps more importantly, offering veterinary generics provides opportunities to build client loyalty. When you tell clients that you carry FDA approved veterinary generic drugs in order to reduce the cost of their pets’ healthcare, you’re assuring them that you have their best interests in mind. As veterinarians, we understand the benefits of client trust—increased compliance, repeat visits, and word-of-mouth referrals.

When I graduated from veterinary school, 25% to 30% of a general veterinary practice’s income relied on pharmaceutical and product sales. Veterinary practices have since lost a substantial part of that income. However, no commercial pharmacy competitor has the expertise and knowledge of veterinary medicine or of our patients that we have. With affordable veterinary generics, we can continue to provide our clients with one-stop service—individualized pet healthcare recommendations, high-quality patient care, and a convenient hospital pharmacy.

The veterinary generics you and clients want most

More veterinary generics are available than ever before, with Putney® Veterinary Generics leading the way in developing the affordable veterinary generic drugs that veterinarians and pet owners want most. Veterinarians now have access to FDA approved Putney generics of Simplicef®, Baytril® Taste Tabs®, Baytril® Injectable Solution, Rimadyl® Chewable Tablets, Rimadyl® Caplets, Rimadyl® Injectable, Telazol®, Dexdomitor®, Metacam® Solution for Injection, and Vetalar®. And Putney has many more veterinary generics on the way, including its FDA approved generic of Tresaderm®.

Medicine has changed over the past few decades and today we have FDA approved veterinary generic drugs that have never before been available. I don’t understand why a veterinarian wouldn’t choose to use veterinary generics to lower costs for his or her clients—to build greater bonds and to maintain an effective pharmacy. To me, it’s part of building a great practice—effective treatment for my patients, affordability for my clients, and profitability for my practice.

Keep reading for a Practice Snapshot illustrating use of veterinary generic drugs.

REFERENCES
1. IMS Health Study, Medicines Use and Spending Shifts, released April 2015. www.theimsinstitute.org.
2. Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA): Generic Drug Savings in the U.S. Sixth annual edition: 2014. Available at: www.gphaonline.org. Accessed Sept 18, 2015.
3. Grabowski H, Long G, Mortimer R. Recent trends in brand-name and generic drug competition. J Med Econ 1-8; 2013.
4. In a recent national survey, 72% of pet owners said they would prefer to fill their pets’ prescription for short-term medications at the veterinarian’s office. Critical Insights survey (n=1000), May 2015.

 

Image courtesy of Putney Inc.Dr. Ettinger is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Cardiology and Small Animal Internal Medicine) and is an Emeritus Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (FACC) and the American Heart Association (FAHA). He has more than 40 years of experience in veterinary medicine, has given continuing education presentations throughout the world, has published more than 170 professional articles in the veterinary literature, and has expertise in hospital management and professional veterinary development. He and colleagues are preparing the 8th Edition of the Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

 

Practice Snapshot of Christ Angelos, VMD, of
Mann Memorial Veterinary Clinic
Image courtesy of Putney Inc.

  • Mann Memorial Veterinary Clinic, Arundel, ME
  • 2 full-time and 3 part-time veterinarians
  • Annual savings by using Putney Generics (vs. the brand-name drugs): $28,4771

Dr. Christ Angelos has been using Putney generics since he read a product flyer for Putney’s Carprofen Caplets in 2011. He’s been a satisfied customer ever since and now purchases every veterinary generic that Putney offers.

“I trust the reliability of the products because they are FDA approved and I know the cost savings help me keep my prices lower and keep my overhead down,” says Dr. Angelos.

Dr. Angelos uses the affordability of Putney generics to deepen his bond with pet owners. “We price Putney’s Carprofen Caplets to split the cost savings between the practice and the pet owner. So the drug is more affordable for the pet owner, the pet gets the treatment it needs, and I make more money, too.”  

[Click for a larger view.] Actual prices paid by Mann Memorial Veterinary Clinic for Putney’s Carprofen Caplets and Putney’s Cefpodoxime Proxetil Tablets compared to the calculated cost of Rimadyl® Caplets and Simplicef® (same quantity and strengths) using published list prices.Dr. Angelos reports that sales have also increased due to an uptick in compliance and repeat visits to the clinic.

“The affordability of Putney’s Carprofen means more people can afford to start treatment and keep refilling the prescription, and that keeps people connected to us. My staff greets the pet owners, and checks in with them about vaccines, flea and tick medicines, and any other products they buy for their pets. Putney veterinary generics keep people coming back to our practice. That’s huge.”