Pharmacy discount cards for dogs can be a lifesaver

I recently learned from a fabulous Californian Pet Columnist/ Writer (Christie Keith) that she was able to obtain some mighty expensive meds for her dogs through a great program that is available through Walgreen’s.

I called my pharmacist hubby right away to ask if he had ever heard of such of thing and it was definitely news to him as well. He wondered if anyone could sign up their pets or if there were restrictions. I wondered that as well as I read at Walgreen’s site that:

Persons enrolled in a publicly funded health care program are ineligible.

But Christie wrote me this: “Well, they didn’t sign ME up, just my dogs… who of course have no publicly funded health care programs!”

This program allows you to sign up all your dogs, their each getting their own card, of course, for the price of $35 a year for the entire family. That is a great family price, especially if you have a large dog family. While the plan does not covers every drug (my hubby tells me his pharmacy probably carries at least 25,000), they do cover 5000+ generic and brand name.

It just so happens that the drug that Christie wanted for her dogs, and which she was able to get her veterinarian to write a prescription for, costs over $500 per 30 tablet bottle. It is a great anti-emetic drug (controlling nausea & vomiting for cancer patients) …. if you have a plan that can cover it, of course. Many folks cannot afford such meds, and it is unconscionable that they cannot get something that would so very much help their quality of life.

Veterinarians often will prescribe human meds for dogs, even though they need to be very familiar with dosage differences and possible contraindications. So, I guess this card, which allows pet family members, could potentially help the humans in the family.

Certainly, not all drugs are this expensive, yet it is comforting to know that certain lifesaver drugs, that surely could make a difference, can be made available.

And, btw, for inquiring minds, although Christie did not tell me the drug that she was purchasing for her dogs (to help combat the effects of drugs they were on for resistant staph infections) my hubby surmised that it was probably Ondansetron (generic version of Zofran), a serotonin receptor antagonist used mainly as an antiemetic to treat nausea and vomiting following chemotherapy. Oh, and just think, the brand name version of the drug, Zofran, costs well over a thousand dollars!