Pet medication sales see 7% increase over last year

Report projects sales will reach $7 billion by the end of 2015.

The pet medication market is looking up this year after having one of its worst years on record in 2013.

According to Packaged Facts, retail sales for pet medications are projected to reach $7 billion by the end of 2015, an almost 7% increase from last year.

This projection includes sales through veterinarians, brick-and-mortar retailers, and online.

In 2014, the industry saw a 6% increase over 2013, which according to Packaged Facts, was "the worst in recent memory."

The flat growth was attributed to several factors, including a colder than normal winter and spring, which greatly affected flea and tick medication sales; significant erosion of the market-leading Frontline brand, which felt the effects of its fipronil patent expiration as it lost sales to lower-priced alternatives; and something of a scale-back in revenue in several products that launched in 2012 and received less marketing support in 2013.

Packaged Facts says the strong sales in 2014 and 2015 have been because of several blockbuster product introductions in the veterinary channel in the last couple of years, particularly Zoetis' APOQUEL, Merial's Nexgard, and Merck's Bravecto, as well as the reintroduction of brands formerly produced by Novartis, such as Sentinel and Interceptor.

Growth was mitigated somewhat by intense competition among Frontline Plus and its various knockoffs, particularly as they became sold in brick-and-mortar and online channels, where margins are lower.

"As always, the biggest wildcard will be the weather for flea and tick sales," said David Sprinkle, Research Director, Packaged Facts."But several animal health companies have a strong product pipeline, with new products expected in the next couple of years that could have a favorable impact on sales."

The findings were published in Packaged Facts' "Pet Medications in the U.S., 4th Edition," which analyzes the market for prescription and over-the-counter medications for dogs and cats. Packaged Facts is a division of MarketResearch.com and publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics.

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