Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

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lillycat
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Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by lillycat »

Ola Friends! This is my first post. Please be gentle with me.
My Abyssinian cat Zest has been diagnosed with asthma. Yikes!
But luckily, it seems there is an inhaled drug that can help him called Flovent.

However, it is not available as a generic in this country.
I went to three pharmacies and was told that one small canister costs $280!
Wow. That’s a lot of money per month.

Yes, I love my cat. And his life will be improved, I think, with the medication.
But Luckily he is not on death’s door without it at this time.
I stumbled upon Canadian ordering options and saw much better prices.
And was looking into the ones that seemed legitimate and required a valid prescription.
But I am not sure how to really vet the sources as I was sucked into a never ending
black hole of online search results when trying.

Any ideas Would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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LadyGeek
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by LadyGeek »

Welcome! I assume you have a prescription from a veterinarian and that the drug is available for cats.

I found a source here: Flovent - Asthma Inhaler for Cats and Dogs
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LadyGeek
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by LadyGeek »

Please avoid discussing medical conditions (off-topic) and focus on the obtaining the drug. Veterinary advice has the same issues as human medical advice - it is not possible to evaluate the applicability of any advice to the OP's situation. As a reminder:
Medical Issues

Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes a list of their top recommended sites.
For pets, start with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine's Free Animal Health Resources Web Sites.

Also recommended:
  • VeterinaryPartner.com, a client education site of the Veterinary Information Network, Inc. - for veterinarians, by veterinarians.
  • Animal Medical Center, New York City, NY. Dedicated to providing compassionate and collaborative care to animals and to leading the advancement of veterinary medicine.
  • Animal Food Recalls and Alerts, from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation
  • The Association of American Feed Control Officials, Regardless of brands, owners are recommended to feed diets that meet AAFCO (independent agency) standard, which sets the minimal requirement for nutrients (ex. carbohydrate, fat, protein..etc)
  • Veterinary Oral Health Council, Dental related issues. Is independent and publishes results from all pet food companies. Includes good client education material, as well. This site is used and recommended by UC Davis School of Vet Med.
  • Indoor Pet Initiative, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Recommended especially for cats (includes a Spanish language section).
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
idunno246
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by idunno246 »

I went through this with my cat and insulin. The vet said just go to a human pharmacy, but the smallest bottles were sized for a month of human dosages, so it was ~$300, expired in 30 days, and was enough to last six+ months by volume. I ended up not needing it, but everything i read said get it from canada, and to find local groups on craigslist/nextdoor/etc to split with since the best option was sold as a five-pack
Teague
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by Teague »

Ask your vet if a different corticosteroid would be acceptable for your cat. Flovent (fluticasone) is a corticosteroid used to decrease inflammation, among other things. As you found out, it is still under patent and therefore expensive. There are other effective inhaled corticosteroids available, and some are available in generic (cheaper) form.
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whodidntante
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by whodidntante »

There is significant overlap between human and critter DNA. We can use some of the same drugs, though some are toxic or ineffective.

First, see if the same drug is also used in humans. If so, try to get a prescription that can be filled at a people pharmacy if your vet agrees. It may be significantly cheaper. I probably saved thousands by purchasing human drugs from low cost providers for my ailing pet. I am perfectly capable of handling dosing considerations.

Next, do not got to Walgreens or CVS. Their prices are simply awful.

I recommend trying to get the prescription filled, both human and pet variants, at Costco. Or if that is not any option, try other local stores with a pharmacy that is not their main source of revenue.

If that fails, it's on to mail order. Human and pet pharmacies, ideally. It is also allowed to import drugs in some cases. Careful with the rules.
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lillycat
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by lillycat »

Thank you for the ideas guys!
Yes, I have a real prescription. The vet told me I could take it to a people pharmacy to get the medicine.

And I appreciate the links about pet health. The first one I looked into posted by
Ladygeek had the drug I needed for $318.00. :shock: Yikes!

I found the drug listed online for sale at COSTCO. It was $270 dollars, give or take.
And thank you for the idea to ask the vet if there is a cheaper / generic alternative.
Will let you know what the vet tells me. Fingers crossed!
Last edited by lillycat on Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
stan1
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by stan1 »

Deleted based on DVM comments below.
Last edited by stan1 on Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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batpot
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by batpot »

Get a second or 3rd opinion.
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JonnyDVM
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by JonnyDVM »

Using a Flovent inhaler is the definitely the best way to treat feline asthma. Costco is probably the cheapest USA option though I know I’ve had clients get it from Canada and save quite a bit. Depending on the drug (no idea about Flovent) GoodRX can sometimes get you a decent discount as well. If you can’t do the inhaler, and don’t feel bad if you can’t because between trying to give cat an inhaler through a mask and the cost it is not something that I commonly prescribe, you can do systemic steroids as an alternative. Oral prednisilone or depomedrol injectable are the less expensive options. Since they are systemic they are harder on the pet in the long run, but as a trade off they are a lot less expensive.
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Topic Author
lillycat
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by lillycat »

Oh! Forgot to mention. Zest will be on this medicine long term, hence the concern about the recurring cost.
And the exact drug seemed to be available from Canadian pharmacies for a lot less.
Has anyone found a Canadian source they trust? I’m not up speed in that arena.
260chrisb
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by 260chrisb »

Simply do an online search for the drug. You may be surprised what you may find and how easy it may be to buy it at a greatly reduced cost.
fsrph
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by fsrph »

Found a reduced price here https://www.totalpetsupply.com/products/flovent-inhaler. But can't vouch for the integrity of this company.

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Topic Author
lillycat
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by lillycat »

JohnnyDVM, Appreciate your post. Yes! He is on the oral version right now as a trial run and he’s improved.
So, the vet suggested this next step that would be easier on his system overall.

FSRPH, thank you for the link to a much cheaper source. Yahoo! I may need to get over my trepidation about online
Drugs and use them if the vet does not come up with a lower cost version that will work.

Ideally, I’d love to hear from someone who was satisfied with their online experience and found the source reliable
And ethical. Those are the type of companies I prefer to support, of course. And I want to give Zest the best treatment
I can afford.
BuddyJet
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by BuddyJet »

You might look at this site for foreign pharmacies

https://www.pharmacychecker.com/aboutus/

Here is the listing for Flovent

https://www.pharmacychecker.com/flovent/

I have not used this site but saw during a website drug search.
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Watty
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by Watty »

lillycat wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:25 pm And the exact drug seemed to be available from Canadian pharmacies for a lot less.
Has anyone found a Canadian source they trust? I’m not up speed in that arena.
We get human a prescription here.

https://www.onlinecanadianpharmacy.com/

I don't know if they will do vet drugs.

There are lots of threads about Canadian Pharmacies that you can look up using the search box in the top right corner of most of the web pages.
Topic Author
lillycat
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by lillycat »

Thank y’all for the great tips and ideas.
My vet got back to me and stated that the people drug he had prescribed was the best one to use.
He was also surprised to hear how $$$ it was.

But, he suggested I try a Canadian pharmacy called Northwestpharmacy.com
And it is much, much cheaper there. This is the best solution for Zest, I think.
And I feel more comfortable using the pharmacy he suggested Instead of picking
One myself.

Now, the crazy hard trick is trying to get my feisty feline to let me dose him!!!
catdoctor
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by catdoctor »

JonnyDVM wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:21 pm Using a Flovent inhaler is the definitely the best way to treat feline asthma. Costco is probably the cheapest USA option though I know I’ve had clients get it from Canada and save quite a bit. Depending on the drug (no idea about Flovent) GoodRX can sometimes get you a decent discount as well. If you can’t do the inhaler, and don’t feel bad if you can’t because between trying to give cat an inhaler through a mask and the cost it is not something that I commonly prescribe, you can do systemic steroids as an alternative. Oral prednisilone or depomedrol injectable are the less expensive options. Since they are systemic they are harder on the pet in the long run, but as a trade off they are a lot less expensive.
+1
KlangFool
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by KlangFool »

https://www.goodrx.com/flovent


OP,

I found it at around $256 via Goodrx


KlangFool
BuddyJet
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by BuddyJet »

lillycat wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 6:01 pm Thank y’all for the great tips and ideas.
My vet got back to me and stated that the people drug he had prescribed was the best one to use.
He was also surprised to hear how $$$ it was.

But, he suggested I try a Canadian pharmacy called Northwestpharmacy.com
And it is much, much cheaper there. This is the best solution for Zest, I think.
And I feel more comfortable using the pharmacy he suggested Instead of picking
One myself.

Now, the crazy hard trick is trying to get my feisty feline to let me dose him!!!
Have not used but I saw the canine version at a dog show.

Btw, northwest pharmacy is a known, reputable source.

https://www.amazon.com/AEROKAT-Aerosol- ... B005AIPRJG
People say nothing is impossible. I do nothing all day.
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Chip Munk
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by Chip Munk »

I have ordered medication for my cat (insulin in my case) from Mark's Marine Pharmacy in Vancouver, BC in Canada: https://rxcanada4less.com/. They were easy to work with and I saved a lot of money. I read about them on a cat forum somewhere where a few people recommended ordering from them. I would use them again in a similar situation. My vet had to send them the prescription and then I was able to place the order.
Topic Author
lillycat
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by lillycat »

Thank you for the link to the Aerokat at Amazon.
That is the device my vet told me to get to use with the inhaler to treat kitty Zest.
I got it and am just waiting to get the medicine. Many reviewers said they were able to use
It with their cat.

And I’m feeling better about getting this drug from Canada after some of you have shared your positive
Experiences. I don’t take any prescriptions so this process is new to me. And my vets have always
Just sold me the medicines my pets have needed from their clinic in the past.
modest_man
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by modest_man »

And I’m feeling better about getting this drug from Canada after some of you have shared your positive
Experiences. I don’t take any prescriptions so this process is new to me. And my vets have always
Just sold me the medicines my pets have needed from their clinic in the past.
Most seasoned vets will recommend purchasing the medication from an online Canadian pharmacy at the outset. I do :beer

I hope your vet also recommended Albuterol for rescue dosing. If not, maybe consider a vet more familiar with managing feline asthma.
Skyler10
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by Skyler10 »

You could try looking at GoodRx too.
Topic Author
lillycat
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Re: Expensive Cat Drug Prescription! Help - Options?

Post by lillycat »

Modest_Man, thank you for the Albuterol tip. I will ask the vet about it.
Zest is not bad now, but it’s better to be prepared!

And yes, the pharmacists I visited checked with GoodRX. But since the medicine is still on
Patent in this country, it wasn’t going to save us money in the US.
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