Trupanion publicizes antidote for lost drug sales

The insurer says app-using clients are likely to fill prescriptions through their veterinarian.

Trupanion publicizes antidote for lost drug sales

Walmart, Target, 1-800-PetMeds, PetSmart — each has captured a small share of the pet drug market at the expense of veterinary practices.

Pet health insurer Trupanion is promoting its web-based app Trupanion Express as a way to encourage clients to get their pet prescriptions dispensed at the hospital, keeping the revenue within the practice.

“For Trupanion policyholders visiting a Trupanion Express hospital, 95 percent of prescriptions are filled directly by the veterinarian through in-house pharmacies or the hospital’s own online pharmacy portal,” said Steve Weinrauch, BVMS, the Seattle company’s chief product officer.

Trupanion Express users settle their bills at checkout — no need for claim forms and reimbursements — and can leave with the pet’s medications in hand. The app was launched in 2013.

“When your pet is hurting, the last thing you need as a pet owner is hassle and billing complications,” said Trupanion CEO Darryl Rawlings.

Mass marketers like Walmart and Target sell 20 percent of pet pharmaceuticals and internet sellers such as 1-800-PetMeds claim a 12 percent share, according to a recent report from the market research firm Packaged Facts.

PetSmart in September announced the launch of the online PetSmart Pharmacy.