Today's Veterinary Business

APR 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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Better Patient Care. Better Business. ™ Midmark Corporation, Dayton, OH, USA. At Midmark Animal Health, we care about clinic success. That's why we are committed to being the total solution for better patient care and better business. • Cabinetry and seating • Containment systems • Exam and treatment tables and tubs • Procedure and exam lighting • Lift equipment • Sterilization equipment • Anesthesia machines • Patient monitors • Dental Delivery • Digital X-ray Our commitment goes beyond our fully integrated product line. We'll be with caregivers every step of the way with top-notch clinical support and training. To learn more, call 1-800-MIDMARK or visit: midmarkanimalhealth.com/TVB218 . Always there when you need us. "If I had been reported, the companies would have stopped selling to me, as one did. That's all," Dr. Gray said. "The state board doesn't give a damn whether you divert or not." Within four or five years, he said, generic veterinary medica - tions appeared on the market and, combined with the recovering economy, gave him little reason to divert. He hasn't done it in about five years. "Generics killed the margin," he explained. "You can buy flea control at Costco for six bucks a dose. We can't even buy it for that. How does that happen?" Economic Turnaround When the Great Recession broke, Dr. Gray's clinic business began to improve. He hit about $1.5 million in revenue in 2017. He closely follows the stock market and noted the November 2017 news that Amazon is thinking of distributing human pharma - ceuticals. That would be a major disruption, he said. "If Amazon does, it will buy drugs in huge quantities. Right now, prices for drugs are so high because no one bargains with the pharma - ceutical companies," he said. "In working on the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration agreed that Medicare would pay whatever price the companies charged. "If Amazon gets into the busi - ness, it will say, 'We want to buy 8 million pills. What price will you give us?'" Human pharma companies aren't motivated to bargain on prices, he said. It's why a 12-week course of medications needed to treat hepatitis C can cost up to $85,000 in the United States. "You can fly to Egypt first class, spend two weeks at a four-star hotel, eat out every night, see all the sights, get the medication and fly back, and it's still cheaper than you'd pay in the U.S.," he said. Leave of Absence Dr. Gray doesn't see himself returning to product diversion in the veterinary channel — at least for now. "It was something we needed to do at the time to keep cash flow going," he said. "If we had another severe enough economic crisis and had to keep everybody eating, and there was a good product on the secondary market, I'd rather divert than fire people." Why talk about his former role as a veterinary drug diverter? "I don't think that badly of it," Dr. Gray said. "I did it for financial reasons, reasons that made sense to me at the time. My wife didn't like it, but then she likes getting a paycheck." What would he say to col - leagues who are critical of veteri- narians who divert? "Follow your own conscience," he said. He paused, then added wryly, "For us minipsychopaths, it's not a problem." "If Amazon gets into the business, it will say, 'We want to buy 8 million pills. What price will you give us?'"

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