Today's Veterinary Business

AUG 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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11 August/September 2018 • TODAYSVETERINARYBUSINESS.COM Why might injectables be best for the pet? How often is a two-week course of antibiotics actually given to and consumed by a pet? What about oral antipruritic medications? Anti- inflammatories? We know that clients frequently forget to adminis- ter a once- or twice-daily treatment. How many leftover, partially used pill vials prescribed to you, your children or your pet are sitting at home? With me, it's a lot. If we can provide an injectable option, regardless of the cost, we ensure a better outcome. How can injectables be best for the client? We often have no idea how much a pet owner struggles to give an oral medication, whether a pill, chewable or liquid. Pets are talented at sorting through peanut butter and hiding pills in their mouth. Liquids are often vomited. When a pet receives only seven days of the 14-day course of treatment, how often is it because of the challenges of administration? Many of my clients admitted to not being able to give oral meds. Ask them. You will be shocked. Inject- ables can solve all this. How can a veterinary business benefit? Let's do the math. A 14-day course of a daily medication might cost us $10, and we charge $30. We rec- ommend a $40 recheck exam. The client spends $70, leaving us with a $60 "profit" (not counting labor, rent, etc.). Two questions: • How many clients purchase the prescription from the clinic, or are they shopping online or at a big-box store? • How many clients return for the recheck? My experience Which one is best for the pet? The answer may be "no difference" if all the oral meds are given. But how often does that happen? In my experience, less than 20 per- cent of clients finished the meds as prescribed. If we are focused on what is best for the pet, long-lasting injectables are better. And as de- scribed above, the clinic's profitabil- ity increases and we create a moat around antibiotic treatments — Am- azon does not give shots. Keeping the revenue and profit in-clinic is very important to monthly income and overall business value. Addison Disease • Option 1: daily oral meds • Option 2: injection given every 28 days Which one is best for the pet? If we could be 100 percent sure about client compliance on the administration of meds, it's a good question. In reality, we cannot be sure. For that reason, when all else is equal, it's always better to have an injectable solution. The clinic profit changes dramatically when case management is transferred from oral to injectable. Allergic Skin Disease • Option 1: oral meds • Option 2: injectable See above. How often does a treatment fail because of improp- er timing and noncompletion of oral medications? Very frequently! We can strategically price the in- jectable to generate an increased profit without charging the same markup. The decision is a winner for all parties: the pet, client and practice. The following chart shows ways to price injectables and gener- ate the same or more profit, not counting the dramatic improve- ment in rechecks. You often can — and I did — charge more for the injection because of the client convenience. When should a veterinarian recommend an injectable option vs. an oral option for treatment? The answer: When it is best for the pet. We should never perform a service or recommend an item that is for our benefit and not the pet's. Thankfully, the injectable options available to us oftentimes are not only the best choice for the pet and client, they can be the best for the business of veterinary medicine. says 20 percent will shop elsewhere and 40 percent will skip the recheck. An injectable solution can gen- erate an extra $50 to $60 per visit. If a doctor sees 2,400 patients in a year — the national average — and 1 in 4 is faced with the injectable vs. oral option, 600 opportunities surface. At $50 per oppor- tunity, the profit amounts to $30,000 per DVM. Multi- ply by five doctors and a practice's profit total could jump by $150,000. Let's dive deeper. Antibiotics • Option 1: oral 14-day course of cephalexin or amoxicillin • Option 2: injectable (14-day duration) By Peter Brown, DVM Business PROTOCOLS 1 2 3 Drugs of choice Oral and injectable medications play a critical role in the health of pets and the practice. Do you know when to prescribe one over the other? If we are focused on what is best for the pet, long- lasting injectables are better.

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