IS THE PHARMACEUTICAL industry going to the dogs? In a way, the answer is yes.
A flurry of regulatory approvals for dog medicines in the past several months demonstrates a growing interest in prescription drugs for pets. These pets don't just have owners—they have people. And those people want their dogs and cats to grow old with them. In an increasing number of countries, people have extra income to spend on Fido and Fluffy to keep these companions healthy and comfortable through their geriatric years.
In response, drug companies are learning to comb their growing libraries of drugs for humans to find products that will improve pet health, bring in additional income, and possibly help advance R&D for human health.
Over the past decade, products for dogs and cats have been the biggest and fastest growing sector of the animal health market, says Nigel Chapple, an analyst with the consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. "A lot of new products are entering the marketplace—a very sizable marketplace—that is increasingly competitive and very dynamic."