Mounting concerns over antibiotic resistance in humans and increasing demand for meat, milk, and eggs will continue to influence discussion on veterinary healthcare. While the US, Canada, and countries in Western Europe have some of the strongest animal healthcare standards – backed up by strong legislation – developing countries are also joining the fray with government support and legislation witnessing an uptick in recent years.
The global veterinary healthcare market is currently valued at nearly US$ 35 billion, and is expected to witness steady growth rates in the next decade. However, there are a plethora of changes currently underway in this highly lucrative market that can have an impact on the stakeholders. Among rising concerns on the effect of long-term antibiotics use, many farm- and pet-owners are making the shift to vaccines. The move is being supported by veterinary healthcare activists. In view of anticipated growth of the veterinary vaccines market, which is estimated to reach $9.5 bn by 2020, Elanco LLC (Eli Lilly & Co.) recently opened a 48,000-square-facility in Indianapolis. The facility is expected to focus on developing vaccines for farm animals, which according to estimates total 70 billion. However, antibiotics aren’t expected to disappear anytime soon, as they remain a credible method of disease prevention and management around the globe. The global veterinary antibiotics market is expected to witness moderate growth during the forecast period 2016-2024.
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Impact of FDA Regulations on Animal Antibiotics Market
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been working on regularizing the use of antibiotics in veterinary healthcare. From defining “medically significant” antibiotics in 2003 to setting up the Veterinary Feed Additive (VFA) rule, the FDA is keeping a strict watch on the non-prescribed use of antibiotics in animal feed. The VFD final rule, which will come into effect from January 1, 2017, makes it mandatory to present a prescription to a veterinarian for buying a feed containing a covered antibiotic. Although these regulations are anticipated to serve well in the long-term, they can stymie demand for veterinary antibiotics in the short-term.
Europe Planning to Tighten its Grip on Veterinary Antibiotics
The proposed European Union regulation that governs the use of antibiotics on animals can also have an impact on sales in Europe. The proposal focuses on collecting, compiling, and reporting antibiotic use in animal feed and for disease mitigation. Regulatory authorities in Europe have been monitoring the state of veterinary healthcare and in 2015, EFSA, ECDC, and EMA concluded, in a joint report, that certain antimicrobials were associated with resistance to these antimicrobials in humans and animals.
While demand for antibiotics in developed countries may decline in the future, manufacturers can look to consolidate their position in developing regions, where regulations on use of antibiotics aren’t as stringent as they are in the U.S. and Europe. The Asia Pacific veterinary antibiotics market is expected to grow at a higher CAGR than North America and Europe markets, owing to laxer regulations.
Commonly used antibiotics in animal healthcare include tetracyclines, penicillin, and cephalosporins. These antibiotics have remained sought-after owing to their easy availability and low cost. According to a report by FDA, sales of veterinary antibiotics in the U.S. increased by nearly 23% between 2009 and 2014. The staggering growth is another key factor that has brought the alleged antibiotic abuse into limelight in the U.S.
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Veterinary Antibiotics Market: Key Players
The key players in the veterinary antibiotics market are Bayer Animal Health, Phibro Animal Health Corp.,Merial, Ceva Sante Animale S.A., Bioniche Animal Health, Fort Dodge Animal Health, Elanco Animal Health, Merck Animal Health, Virbac Animal Health, Zoetis, Inc., and Novartis Animal Health.
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