The 2022 Western Veterinary Conference was my first in-person conference since 2020. And, judging by the smiling faces of my industry partners and veterinary healthcare team colleagues, it was a smashing success. Thanks to the Brakke Consulting team, the conference included its annual Industry Overview on how COVID accelerated change in the veterinary profession.
Quick adoption of omnichannel brand platforms to remote work to consolidation of veterinary hospitals were the changes. Veterinarian and staff shortages and burnout among millenial veterinarians continued. Interestingly, telemedicine did not keep pace with the transformation to telemedicine in human health. State laws vary on what is allowed and veterinarians by and large still want to see our furry friends in the office. More on that issue to come because it appears pet owners want more telemedicine not less.
My teams and I helped educate practicing veterinarians and pet owners about the ease of use and efficacy of moxidectin in Proheart6. Now with products like Simparica Trio and Solensia, and Librela to be launched in 2022, Zoetis is shown to be clearly leading the pack in both revenue and new product introductions. Merck and Boehringer Ingelheim continue to battle it out as second and third top performers for a share of our pet spending dollars with great products as well. Inflation will complicate growth for all companies – it does for us, doesn’t it?
One of the most interesting predictions from the Brakke Industry Overview was how monoclonal antibodies will once again upend distribution channels – in favor of the veterinary clinic. We saw how the entire flea & tick category went back to the veterinary clinic and how well Proheart6 was received. Will there be a repeat?
The trade show floor at Western Veterinary Conference was repleat with new innovations in how products were presented, new technologies and even as a colleague commented, veterinary clinics looking for veterinary team members. As a Chewy affiliate site, we are always interested in Chewy’s new developments and were happy to stop by their booth. Be sure to read our post about the Chewy Practice Hub. Something tells me we will be visiting that story again.
Last but certainly not least we were pleased to report on two AVMA’s initiatives, a collaboration with Viticus and a $200,000 Ukraine relief fund with Merck Animal Health and its American Veterinary Foundation arm.
As we head to Global Pet Expo in a few weeks, stay tuned for what’s new in the pet food category but also the increased acceptance of pet product technology. Slow to grow initiaally, could the pandemic finally be the impetus for real growth in the category to the benefit of pet owners?
We shall see! See you at Global Pet Expo, pet industry peeps and pet parents watch for our updates.
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