Wednesday, July 18, 2012

FTC to Examine Pet Medications Industry

Ten years ago, pet medications were dispensed mostly by veterinarians. Today, brick-and-mortar, online retail and nationwide pharmacy chains like Kroger also sell pet meds, especially OTC medications.

As we've pointed out in earlier posts and in our pet market research over the years, the evolution of America's pet culture - and corresponding increase in spending - has fundamentally changed the distribution practices and competitive landscape of the pet medications industry. The internet economy and recent flood of generic flea & tick meds onto the market are among many changes responsible for this.

Now, the Federal Trade Commission plans to take a look in a FTC Workshop on Pet Medications Issues later this year.

Issues of competition and consumer protection will be discussed, including prescription portability, consumer choice, veterinarians rights, product supply and quality. The FTC also has questions about business rationales, innovation, and future barriers to entry into the pet medications market.

That's a lot of questions for a lot of stakeholders. This could be a very important meeting that defines the next ten years of the pet medications industry. Upon completion, the Commission may prepare a report on the issues.

Stakeholders include businesses and consumers, and are invited to comment on any of these issues to the FTC before September 14, 2012.

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