Welcome to The Vetalytix Report for the fourth and final quarter of 2018. Throughout the year, we have highlighted the significant variation in economics and market dynamics that impact veterinary communities across the nation. We observed sluggish volume in the first part of 2018 in many areas, followed by significant improvement and growth as the year progressed. We saw other regions start strongly and appear to slow as the year went on, and some regions observed more tepid, but consistent, market dynamics throughout the year.
Chewy launches pharmacy
In July, Chewy.com announced the launch of Chewy Pharmacy, a full service online pharmacy for pet owners to shop for prescription medications as well as receive helpful information about pet care, health and wellness from certified and licensed pharmacists, according to Pet Product News. Last year pet medicine and vaccines made up a $15 billion market. According to TD Ameritrade’s study “Millennials and Their Fur Babies,” millennials, who make up the majority of pet owners expect to spend more on their pets’ health care than their own. With the launch of Chewy Pharmacy, pet owners have convenient access to a wide assortment of prescription products from reputable brands at low prices, according to company officials.
MWI acquires NEVSCO
In December 2017, MWI Animal Health, a part of AmerisourceBergen, announced the acquisition of Northeast Veterinary Supply Co. (NEVSCO), an independent, regional distributor of veterinary pharmaceuticals and medical supplies servicing primarily the northeast region of the U.S. “The acquisition of NEVSCO continues to strengthen MWI’s position to better support the viability of independent veterinary practices and provide even greater value and care to current and future animal health customers,” the company said in a release. It is a significant commitment to the northeast region of the United States, with MWI adding NEVSCO’s 40+ associates and leaders to its organization.
Heartworm, Lyme disease on the move
The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) annual 2018 parasite forecast predicted an increase in prevalence of two of the most problematic diseases for pets: heartworm and Lyme disease. Heartworm was predicted to continue to aggressively spread across the United States in 2018, with the growth of Lyme disease focused east of the Rockies.
Welcome to The Vetalytix Report for the third quarter of 2018. In previous issues, we reported that the first two quarters proved to be challenging for many veterinarians nationwide as revealed by decreases in product consumption across numerous categories.
An opioid shortage has left veterinarians frustrated and scrambling for alternatives
Chances are, your veterinary practice customers are feeling the squeeze. Opioids that have been part of a standard of care for years are harder to come by, and judging by at least one recent survey, veterinarians are worried about the impact it is having on the way they deliver care to their patients.
From dentistry to ultrasound: What your customers need to know
The fourth quarter is when many veterinary practice owners seriously consider whether they should buy capital equipment before the year is over – not only to improve patient care and services but also for tax purposes. Section 179 of the IRS code provides incentives for the purchase of veterinary equipment, from X-ray and dental machines to lights and monitors. Here is a look at how equipment features and capabilities have changed over the past decade. (A special shoutout to Rick Warter, RVT, national equipment sales manager at MWI Animal Health, for his insights.)
What were the biggest trends and stories of 2018? What can veterinary medicine look forward to in 2019? Vet-Advantage asked Mike Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP, CEO of AAHA, and industry veteran and business consultant John Francis to weigh in.
Vet-Advantage: What do you think were the biggest stories in veterinary medicine in 2018, and why?
Cavanaugh: Mergers, acquisitions, and spin-offs involving animal health companies continue to be big news as the playing field continues to shift for veterinary practices.
Ongoing consolidation of veterinary practices. It seems every week there is another group looking to purchase practices.
AAHA’s focus on accredited practices, changing its conference model through launching Connexity by AAHA, as well as AAHA’s Healthy Workplace Culture Initiative certainly kept my attention!
Marking down prices on veterinary services is the bane of our profession, so veterinary practices consider an alternative approach.
Editor’s Note: The following column originally ran in the August 2018 issue of Today’s Veterinary Business, which directly reaches over 50,000 veterinarians and office managers.
I don’t understand why the veterinary profession discounts its services. To my way of thinking, a business that discounts services is basically saying that customers are being overcharged the rest of the time, so now the services are being charged appropriately. When was the last time you got a discount from your physician, dentist, surgeon or chiropractor? According to a study done by the Canadian Federation of Small Business, veterinarians discount more than any other business.
How often are discounts given?
Let’s help remind your veterinary customers of the value of incorporating senior wellness into their practice.
Your veterinary customers know that there are many important senior pet conditions for both dogs and cats, including chronic kidney disease, liver disease, and metabolic disorders like diabetes. Recognizing these conditions early can help improve the quality of life for the pet and do wonders for the human-animal bond. Complete diagnostic efforts including routine bloodwork, such as CBC and chemistry panels, are critical to monitoring multiple organ systems, response to medication, and disease progression. Veterinarians should be evaluating regular bloodwork at annual wellness testing with senior pets.