Taking care of a diabetic dog can be a costly endeavor. Insulin -- the hormone that regulates glucose levels in the blood -- is the most important part of your dog’s treatment, and it can also be the most expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. Here we’ll share some tips for saving money on your dog’s insulin.
Typical Insulin Costs for Dogs
Insulin can cost anywhere from $30-$150. The price will vary depending on if you buy from your veterinarian, online, or with a pharmacy benefits plan. It will also depend on if you choose a brand name or generic drug.
Buying at the Vet vs. Online
Purchasing insulin from your veterinarian may seem like the most convenient option, but it is usually not the most cost-effective. This is because the majority of veterinarians and clinics markup their medications -- anywhere from 100% to 160% over wholesale prices. Most vets also charge a $5 to $15 dispensing fee.*
Online retailers can keep prices low by buying in bulk and cutting out administrative costs. If you do order insulin online, it will require special overnight shipping, which can sometimes translate into high shipping costs. Insulin must be kept cold, so it requires special packaging and must arrive to its destination quickly. Despite this, buying online will probably still cost less than buying from your vet.
Buying Brand Name vs. Generic
If you are wondering what the difference is between brand name and generic drugs, the answer is: not much. Generic drugs have the same active ingredients and medicinal effects as their brand name versions, but they cost less because the manufacturer did not have to pay for the development or marketing of the drug.
The price difference between brand name and generic drugs can be small or significant, but in general, you will always save if you choose the generic. For example, the brand name insulin Humulin has a retail price of $100-$130, while its generic version, Novolin, sells for $70-$100.
Saving on Insulin with a Pharmacy Benefits Plan
Want to save even more? Consider a pharmacy benefits plan. These plans are able to offer amazing savings and convenience by partnering with drug companies, pharmacies, veterinarians, and more. Pharmacy benefits plans are not pet insurance. Instead, a monthly or yearly fee earns you better prices on pet medications. You could save up to 75% on your dog’s insulin!
Sign up or learn more about PetPlus by PetCareRx, the first ever comprehensive savings plan for pets, and find out how much a membership will help you save.
*Consumer Reports: Don’t Automatically Get Pet Medicines From the Vet
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This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.