Our charges explained

Our routine fees and charges are consistently below that charged by many practices across the UK and we are proud to have developed a financial structure that we feel is fair, ethical and sustainable.

We make our lower fees possible by ensuring that we see a relatively high number of patients but at a lower cost and with lower levels of overall practice profit.  Some practices see a smaller number of animals but charge much higher fees per animal to cover their costs and produce a greater net profit.  We believe our approach his has numerous benefits – increased caseload means that our highly skilled vets have expertise in dealing with a greater array of conditions, facilitates the acquisition of specialist facilities and more nursing staff, creates a good team spirit and enables us to carry a much larger range of drugs and medication.

We carry an exceptionally large range of medicines in our pharmacies and these are supplied by a national wholesaler that supplies numerous other practices across the UK.  The price of these medications is fixed by the wholesaler and we are obliged to source our medications from this or other similar licensed suppliers operating in the UK.  The only time we are ever challenged in terms of pricing is with regards cheap online medications, many of which are of unknown provenance and sourced through unregulated channels.  Even if they are legitimate, we are unable to purchase them ourselves for resale in our surgeries as we are tightly bound by our regulating authority to buy from a limited number of official, licenced wholesalers.  These prices are often higher than those advertised online and consequently the price of medications supplied by us may be higher as well – though not always.  However these online prices are misleading in that they commonly result in the misconception is that we charge excessively for these medications.

All medications and diets supplied by the surgery carry a modest mark-up to cover costs of purchase, storage, handling, wastage, dispensing etc – as well as a small contribution to the running costs of the practice.  Our mark-ups vary from 10-50% and dispensing fees from £0-3.50 according to the nature of the item.  Some expensive medications, for example the new and very potent antibiotic ‘Veraflox’, are only used in limited quantities for severe infections.  Unfortunately, however, they are only available in large boxes costing several hundreds of pounds.  The result is that we have large amounts of very expensive meds sitting on our shelves, gathering dust and even going out of date – therefore whilst we do not pass on the cost of the whole box to our patients we must charge a mark-up on the individual tablets to justify having them at all.  The same applies to several other drugs e.g. certain modern heart medications.  Some practices just do not stock these items to reduce losses but this means that potentially life-saving drugs may not be available when needed.  With some very inexpensive medications, we may use higher mark-ups to help subsidise the more expensive drugs and assist with practice running costs.  Many practices place a 100% mark-up (or higher) on ALL medications – we have developed a system which we think is honest, fair and proportional.

Nonetheless we are passionate about keeping the cost of medications for our patients to the bare minimum and are constantly striving to find savings and pass these on.  We have joined a very large buying group with other practices across the UK which has given us greater bargaining power with some of the large drug companies who give us ‘rebates’ on our wholesaler purchases. This has enabled us to compete and even undercut many online suppliers.  Furthermore, we are able in some circumstances to source ‘generic’ equivalents of some medications which are often much more affordable though we do need to adhere to strict legislation in the supply of these cheaper alternatives.

If your pet is on a long-term medication and are concerned about the cost then please do raise it with us as we may be able to offer a discount according to the purchase cost and any available rebates.  If you have seen the medication advertised more cheaply on-line then please email us with the exact details – we are always appreciative of price match enquiries as they can be used as a bargaining tool to help us negotiate a better deal with our suppliers and therefore keep our costs as low as possible for the benefit of all our patients.  If, after making enquiries, we cannot find a comparable deal then we will happily write a written prescription for you.

We currently charge a nominal £11.70 fee for prescriptions which are charged per medication.  This fee is charge a fee for the time and professional expertise involved in calculating dosages and writing the scripts but also to encourage the use our own medications where possible which we know have been supplied through legitimate, licensed and traceable channels and to encourage you to work with us to secure a better deal from our suppliers in the future.  It also helps us to continue to keep rare, expensive and potentially life-saving medications on our shelves which wouldn’t be possible if we just wrote prescriptions for everything.  We actually write very few prescriptions now due to our improved buying group rebates and the costs of these scripts contribute virtually nothing to our overall fees – they are really just to help safeguard our own supply channels and stocks.

We hope you find this explanation of how our charges work useful and of interest.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions or indeed suggestions.  Thanks again for your fabulous support and for your assistance in shaping the practice to meet and exceed the needs and expectations of our beloved four pawed friends – both now and in the future.

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