I took my dog to Banfield Pet Hospital in Traverse City Michigan to have her ear checked. During the examination by the veterinarian, it was discovered that she had an ear infection and needed medication to clear up the infection. I asked the price of the medication and when I thought it was too high a price I said I wanted a written prescription in order to shop-around and possibly buy it elsewhere for a lower price.
A Banfield worker named Julie, whose title is "client service coordinator", told me that the veterinarian there would not authorize or write a prescription for medication to be bought elsewhere, and if I wanted the medication for my dog's ear I'd have to buy it there at Banfield Pet Hospital. I asked why that is and was told, again by Julie, that it was illegal to buy that particular medication (brand name of "MalOtic") from anyone that wasn't a veterinarian and then she told me since a pharmacist isn't a veterinarian then I can't buy it from a pharmacy. I told her that I didn't believe that was true, and I explained to her that I should be able to get it from any pharmacy that carries it so long as the veterinarian writes or authorizes a prescription for it. She insisted that that would be illegal. The box the medication came in says: "Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian".
It would seem to me that "on the order of" means I can purchase the drug anywhere I please so long as a veterinarian orders the drug. She still insisted that I had to buy the medication from Banfield Pet Hospital and I would not get a prescription to purchase it elsewhere. I asked her for a written copy of that policy, but she refused to give it to me. She became extremely rude and told me to take my business elsewhere next time my dog needs care (believe me, I will!!). But my dog still needed the medication for her ear so I had to pay $30.82 to buy it from Banfield Pet Hospital when I could have got it for $11.50 elsewhere if only they would have given me the written prescription. I was told by a pharmacy that carries the medication that Banfield forcing me to buy it from Banfield and refusing to give me a written prescription is a violation of Michigan law as well as violation of ethics set forth by the American Veterinary Medical Association. I certainly will be taking my business elsewhere and would advise everyone else to do the same.
traverse city, Michigan