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17 Feb 2019 5:15 PM | Anonymous

The Pet Medication Market Is

Growing, Providing Opportunities For

Independent Pharmacies

In 2015, Market research firm Packaged Facts published a report called Pet Medications in the U.S.: Over-the-counter and Prescription Remedies as Consumer Products, 3rd Edition which estimated the pet medication market to be a $10 billion industry by 2018. More families are now keeping pets and are treating them as members of the family which means that owners are willing to spend for grooming and medication for their furry creatures. It’s this concern for the welfare of animal companions that will drive the growth of the pet medication market. In fact, the American Pet Products Association estimates expenditure in the pet industry to be $69.36 billion in 2017.

In 2013, pet medication sales hovered at $7.6 billion. That figure is now bound to increase at an annual growth rate of 5% by 2018 to $10.2 billion. The study by Packaged Facts looked into different areas including parasite prevention and control, behavioral health, cognitive dysfunction, heart health, ear care, obesity/overweight, and allergies.

Veterinarians have, for years, dominated sales of veterinary prescription and over-the-counter drugs. However, that started to change in the late 90s when establishments such as brick-and-mortar shops and online retailers began to take larger control of the market share. In 2013, veterinarians accounted for 58% of pet medications – although still a large amount, the percentage two years prior was 63% which shows that there is growing competition from retail stores.

Independent pharmacies can take advantage of the growth of the pet medication industry by offering pet prescription medication. This idea could work best in areas where residents need to travel many miles just to get to a specialist store that sells medications for pets. Doing this is advantageous for local pharmacies because they will be making it more convenient for pet owners to get prescription medication for their dogs or cats without having to travel a long way.

Providing pet prescription medication also allows an independent pharmacy to build relationships with the local veterinary clinics. Clinics can refer their pet owners to an independent pharmacy which provides the prescriptions they need for their furry companion.

There is growing concern among veterinarians that pet owners will no longer be turning to them for advice to rely on lay people instead. Independent pharmacies can address this concern by establishing relationships with veterinarians in their local area. For example, pharmacies can supply the medication prescribed by a vet for a local resident’s pet. The scenario would be one of collaboration instead of competition.

Independent pharmacies can even partner with local veterinarians to provide information needed by pet owners to keep their companions happy and healthy. On top of that, local pharmacies can also supply specialty pet products.

While it’s true that some veterinarians might lose profits with pharmacies and other retail outlets taking a share of the pet prescription market, there are always areas where they can join heads for the benefit of local pet owners and their furry creatures. Besides, the Federal Trade Commission criticized the established policy of selling medications only through veterinarians in 2015. In a report called Competition in the Pet Medications Industry Prescription Portability and Distribution Practices released in May 2015, the FTC cited broader access to portable prescriptions, greater choice of generic drugs, and wide access by non-veterinary retailers to supplies as consumer benefits of the increased completion in the pet medications market.

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