Packaging is where the profit is. Fact. I've come to the conclusion that products are little more than incidental accessories devised to convince us we need to spend gobs of money on the materials they come wrapped in. I came to understand this over the weekend when, for the first time, I purchased flea medication for all my animals at once.
If you have dogs and/or cats, then chances are you’ve gone through the same rigmarole of determining which flea medication works the best. (You’d think it would be cut and dried, but it SO is not!) Of course, as anyone with even two simultaneously working synapses knows, flea collars are pointless and that dreck made by Hartz you find in grocery stores is not only ineffective, but might even be detrimental to the pet. The only viable option is to get your flea meds from your veterinarian. I use Advantage.
Now, I always thought Advantage was so gawd-awfully expensive because it’s the best and made by pharmaceutical giant Bayer. But… no. Despite it’s ridiculous price tag, the drug itself probably costs next to nothing. The evidence supporting my claim is below.
On the left is a single 4.0ml tube of Advantage Blue (for dogs over 55 pounds).
Cost for the single dose (averaged from a four dose pack) is about $13.
On the right are five 0.8ml tubes of Advantage Purple (for cats over 10 pounds).
Cost for all five tubes is about $58.
The single tube of Advantage Blue holds precisely the same amount as the five tubes of Advantage Purple, but costs $45 less. The exact same chemical formula is used for both dogs and cats, so the only explanation is that the price of the drug itself is negligible and I just chucked some very pricey bits of plastic in the trash.
Of course, it’s effectively impossible to measure out five 0.8ml doses from the 4.0ml tube, so unless you’re able to see your cats as lab rats and your dogs as Guinea pigs, Bayer pretty much has you by the short hairs. Considering the active ingredient in Advantage is chlorinated nicotine, I suspect most pet owners are disinclined to conduct dosing experiments.
So there you go. If you’re a cat owner and you use Advantage, you’re being corn-holed on your flea medication and there’s nothing you can do about it. Don’t go changing brands, though. The others are priced just as high but contain formulas that dilute the super-effective imidacloprid with the highly unpredictable permethrin (a primary pesticide in RAID Roach Killer).
Perhaps we could look for a way to recoup the money. I wonder if there’s a futures market for blister packs and plastic applicators…