Dr. Peter Glassman (the founder of the company behind Pet Portals) blogs today about what we charge clients for their pets’ drugs. He suggests that as veterinary clinics face increasing competition from nontraditional sources for the same drugs (think PetMeds, WalMart, and so on), we need to rethink how we price drugs and whether, as an industry, we can continue to rely on product sales as a main source of profit:

The revenue model wherein the number one practice profit center is dispensed products and not healthcare services worked well in the eighties. It doesn’t work so well now and it probably won’t work so well in the future. Practices, in my opinion, need to rely less upon product sales and more upon providing healthcare services.

Dr. Glassman’s post is thought-provoking and asks some important questions. Even those practitioners and practice managers (like catmanager) who haven’t yet felt the sorts of pressures to which Dr. Glassman’s hospital has already responded would do well to start thinking about the issue.