Pet Medications in the U.S., 5th Edition

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Published Aug 25, 2017 | 192 Pages | Pub ID: LA15184172
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Pet Medications in the U.S., 5th Edition

Packaged Facts estimates that U.S. retail sales of pet medications will hit $8.6 billion by the end of 2017, inclusive of sales through veterinarians, brick-and-mortar stores, and online retailers, with sales growth even more robust than in 2016. The strong two-year increase reflects several blockbuster product introductions in the veterinary channel (including Zoetis’ APOQUEL and Simparica, Merial’s NexGard, and Merck’s Bravecto), as well as weather conditions favorable to parasiticide sales.

Pet Medications Market Shows Growth, Consolidation

The market for pet medications continues to show strong growth in the U.S. A raft of new products in the flea & tick category has redefined the landscape both in the veterinary market and in retail stores. Merial’s growth has been spurred on by its success in chewable flea & tick, Nexgard, which it sometimes pairs with its heartworm product, Heartgard, to boost sales in both categories. Elanco’s heartworm presence has increased as well, particularly due to aggressive marketing of Interceptor Plus to go along with its leading brand, Trifexis.

The pet medication industry has undergone consolidation, most notably with the closing of Boehringer Ingelheim’s acquisition of Merial, making BI the second-largest player globally. Other significant deals included PetIQ’s IPO and a large investment in Vets First Choice. The Vets First Choice investment points to the Internet's affect on pet meds distribution, ranging from mainstream channels such as Amazon, to as a pet product specialist, to pet drug-specific outlets such as 1-800-PetMeds.

Also factoring in are changes in the veterinary industry, including Mars’ acquisition of VCA. Overall pet medication sales growth continues to be affected negatively by cheaper options for consumers (e.g., competition among Frontline Plus and its various imitators), particularly as they are sold in brick-and-mortar and online channels where margins are lower. However, the strong pipeline of patented prescription drugs is helping to keep price erosion at bay.


Updated from 2015, this fifth edition of Pet Medications in the U.S. analyzes the market for prescription and over-the-counter medications for dogs and cats, with a particular focus on brand-name products used by consumers. These include prescription, over-the-counter (OTC or “retail”), and ethical products (nonprescription medications whose distribution is restricted by the manufacturer to veterinarians). The primary focus of this report is on antiparasitics (flea, tick, heartworm, etc.), but it also covers market-shaping developments in other areas including cancer, cognitive dysfunction, mood disorder, pain management, and obesity/diabetes.

Animal health products for production animals and horses are excluded from this market analysis, as are nutritional supplements for horses and companion animals, the latter of which are covered in Packaged Facts’ April 2017 report, Pet Supplements in the U.S., 6th Edition.

The report provides in-depth coverage of competitive trends, new product trends and marketing activity, and draws on insights from other reports in Packaged Facts’ extensive Pet Market Collection. Data provided include historical and projected market revenues, along with demographics and psychographics of pet med purchasers, based on data from sources including Simmons and Packaged Facts’ proprietary national pet owner surveys.

Report Methodology

The information contained in this report was obtained from primary and secondary research. Primary research entailed informal interviews with leading manufacturers of pet medications and with other pet industry experts; attendance of the Global Pet Expo and Petfood Forum trade events from 2005 through 2017; consultations with pet product manufacturers and members of the trade; and an on-site examination of retail venues. Secondary research included extensive Internet canvassing and research- and data-gathering from relevant consumer business and trade publications; company reports including annual reports, press releases, and investor conference calls; company profiles in trade and consumer publications; government reports; and other pet market reports by Packaged Facts.

Sales estimates are based on published and estimated sales of major market participants; market size estimates from other sources appearing in the trade press; figures obtained through consultation with market participants; the performance of relevant retail venues; consumer usage rates for pet medications; rates of company and product entries into the market; and sales data from syndicated resources.

Our consumer analysis draws primarily on two sources:
  • Simmons National Consumer Surveys from Experian Marketing Services. On an ongoing basis, Experian Marketing Services conducts booklet-based surveys of a large and random sample of consumers (approximately 25,000 for each 12-month survey compilation) who in aggregate represent a statistically accurate cross-section of the U.S. population.
  • Packaged Facts Pet Owner Surveys, including one conducted in June/July 2017. These surveys had a sample of 2,000 U.S. respondents age 18 or over who in aggregate are representative of the primary demographic measures of gender, age bracket, race/ethnicity, geographic region, household income bracket, and presence of children in the household of the U.S. Census Bureau.
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