Veterinary medicine looking increasingly to human drugs to supplement treatment pipelines


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Significant unmet needs within veterinary care, including a lack of drugs for senior animals, underdeveloped research in areas such as veterinary oncology, and a scarcity of novel drugs, diagnostic aids, treatment monitoring, and vaccines, are driving veterinarians to treat animals such as dogs, cats and horses by prescribing drugs intended for human use, according to business intelligence provider GBI Research.

The company's latest report states that the most significant drivers of Extralabel Drug Use (ELDU) in animals are financial.

Unlike the human drugs market, veterinary clinics are involved not only in diagnosis and treatment, but also have the right to dispense pet medications.

Consumers cannot purchase the prescribed medications from a pharmacy of their choice, where there would be access to low-priced generic drugs, and human treatments may be a viable alternative.

Ms Deekshita Allavarapu, Analyst for GBI Research, says: "A blockbuster drug in human health generates revenues in excess of $1 billion, whereas the animal health market's highest selling drugs achieve $50-100 million, with around 85% of animal sales reaching less than $1 million. In this way, many manufacturers of veterinary drugs are looking for products already licensed for human use to fill their pipelines."


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