Competition and Markets Authority Report

March 14, 2024

This week the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced it’s provisional intention to launch a formal market investigation into the veterinary sector. Their initial review has highlighted some concerns within the industry, particularly with the huge increase in the number of veterinary practices owned by six major corporate groups.

At Towcester Vets we would like to take this opportunity to say that we fully support the investigation, with many of our staff contributing to the initial information gathering from the CMA, and are hopeful that some positive changes can come from it.

We are a proudly independent practice, with the practice owners seeing clients and pets every day. Although we have strong professional relationships with a number of referral centres, there are no financial incentives for us to choose one over another.

Some of the other concerns raised included the transparency of pricing and the pricing of medication. At Towcester Vets we are always happy to provide an estimate of costs upon request and do have the prices of common procedures available on our website and included within our welcome information when clients join the practice. We understand that financial situations differ and endeavour to provide a range of options to find the best solution for the individual circumstances.

We stock a wide range of medications at our surgeries as we know our clients appreciate the convenience, speed and reliability of being able to obtain medications at the time of a consultation or procedure. However, we are also happy to provide a written prescription upon request to clients who wish to source medications from an alternative supplier.

The CMA has indicated that costs of veterinary medicines may be negatively impacted by the strict regulations that veterinary practices have to adhere to. This includes veterinary practices only being able to obtain medicines from certain licensed suppliers even if the medications are available elsewhere and not being able to prescribe generic versions of medications when a licensed veterinary product is available. We strongly encourage an investigation into whether these regulations are in the best interest of clients and their pets.

At Towcester Vets we are extremely grateful for our lovely clients who have remained supportive and polite this week at a time when sadly many of our colleagues around the country cannot say the same, thank you. If you should have any concerns arising from the CMA report or any other issue regarding the care of your pet please feel free to contact us.

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