Retail sales of pet medications, including sales through veterinarians, brick-and-mortar retailers, and online, will reach $6.7 billion in 2011, according to "Pet Medications in the U.S.," a recent report from Packaged Facts.
"The underpinnings of the U.S. pet industry remain strong, and the outlook is especially favorable for all things pet health related," observes David Sprinkle, publisher of Packaged Facts. Taking into account market drivers including the aging pet population, pet obesity, and the heavy involvement of major pharmaceuticals companies, pet medications sales should return to their pre-recession rates of growth over the next few years, with annual percentage gains projected at 10% by 2015.
For many years, veterinarians have been in the catbird seat when it comes to selling pet medications. Veterinarians have an inherent advantage in that they are the most trusted source of pet health information, with a built-in base of potential pet medications customers. According to Packaged Facts' May-June 2011 Pet Owner Survey, veterinarians are the outlet of choice for 71% of purchasers of heartworm medications, which are sold by prescription only, and for 40% of purchasers of flea/tick spot-ons, most of which are nonprescription.
Among brick-and-mortar retailers, mass-market channels are the least involved in pet medications, dealing mainly in flea/tick products. Nonetheless, online pharmacies (including Walmart and Target) continue to expand their product range, and Packaged Facts expects these retailers to become a much greater factor in the market.
Growth will come from both the pharmaceutical side of the market, as new drugs are launched, and from the retail side of the market, as products and ingredients crossing over from the veterinary channel broaden their retail following.[Source: "Pet Medications in the U.S." Packaged Facts. 30 Nov. 2011. Web. 5 Dec. 2011.]