Human Drugs Causing a Spur in Animal Healthcare

human drugs for veterinary use market

The Human Drugs for Veterinary Use Market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 2.90% over the forecasted period to reach a market size of US$4.102 billion in 2028 from US$3.357 billion in 2021.

Human drugs are tested on animals for their use before they are put out in the market. During these trials, it can be observed that these drugs have the same effect on the animals as they do on humans and hence, can be used in their treatment as well. More often than not, pharmaceutical companies produce more drugs for humans than animals and some animal ailments and disorders don’t even have an animal-specific drug treatment. Because of this stark difference between the sales and market size of these two industries, veterinarians often use extra-label human drugs to treat animals. This is a factor, therefore, has the potential to increase the size of the market in the forecasted period. Further, there has been a growing number of veterinary practitioners and pet services across the globe owing to the field being lucrative, which is projected to drive the market growth.

Adding to this, rising funding in the research and development programs on animal healthcare has increased the number of companies that are transitioning the application of human drugs to be developed and used as animal drugs. In usual cases, an average successful human drug can generate revenue exceeding the billion dollar mark while the hottest selling animal drugs can only achieve a tenth of that. This drives many veterinary drug manufactures to fill their pipelines using products that are already licensed for human use. This is another factor that is attributed to be a potential driver for the growth of this market.

Increasing Pet Population to Drive Growth in the Animal Health Care Market

One of the major reasons driving the growth of the human drugs for veterinary use market is the increasing global pet population as this increases the demand for these medicines by expanding the target demographic for this market as more people buy these medicines for the well-being of their pets. According to the APPA, US recorded a pet ownership of 70% in 2021 which was an increase from the pre-existing 67% in 2019. Nowadays, a lot of millennials consist of working professionals living away from home due to work commitments as bachelors or as nuclear families. This has led to a lot of those people to develop a sense of loneliness and feel the need of a companion, which is why a lot of people go with decision of getting a pet in order to tackle all these feelings and thus, contribute to the increasing pet population. Adding to this, millennials also form the largest adult cohort globally, constituting 23% of the population according to the World Population Prospects, United Nations, 2019 which acts as a catalyst in the rising global pet population and increase in the sales of human drugs for their medication and treatment.

Legal Issues, Safety Problems and Health Dangers May Restrain Market Growth of Human Drugs for Veterinary Use

Despite all the factors showing positivity for the growth of human drugs in the veterinary industries, there are some legal, health and safety issues that are associated with the extra-label drug use in animal healthcare and treatment. This brings up some risks for human drugs use for veterinary purposes. For instance, even though the mammalian species shares many similarities in response to these drugs on a surface level, sometimes at the cellular level, they might respond differently to the same drug. Adding to this there have been cases of practitioners prescribing human drugs for veterinary treatment sheerly out of affordability issues. This type of practice is considered ethically wrong and can have the veterinarian face legal issues for the same. These reasons work against the favour of the usage of human drugs in veterinary spaces and are hence projected to be restraints against the growth of this market.

Antibiotics Category to Hold a Significant Share in the Market

Antibiotics are used in the veterinary spaces for food animals to prevent, cure and control common diseases, to treat clinical diseases and to also facilitate and enhance animal growth. The antibiotics category is the one which is used most extensively in the market of human drugs for veterinary use as it is the one which is the most common and frequent drug prescribed by veterinarians. This is because most human antibiotics do not pose any threat towards animals as long as they are given in the correct dosage and often times, human antibiotics are approved for human as well as animal use from the get go. According to the Centre for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy, in the US, about 70% of the antibiotics that are medically important are also used in animals. Therefore this high versatile usability has projected this category to hold significant shares in the market and is also expected to promote the overall growth in the market due to the high number of sales in this segment.

America and Europe to Contribute Significant Growth Top the Market

Geographically, the human drug for veterinary use market can be segmented into regions like Asia Pacific, Europe North America, South America and Middle East and Africa. Out of all these regions, America and Europe are projected to be the major countries contributing towards the growth of the market. This can be attributed towards the fact that both these regions have a steadily growing pet ownership population, which is expected to drive market growth. According to the data by FEDIAF, 46% of the European households were recorded to own pets in 2021. On the other hand, according to the APPA, US recorded a pet ownership of 70% in 2021. Adding to that, the consumption and sales of these drugs is highest in the US. Further, with sufficient funding in R&D, Boehringer Ingelheim in Germany is pegged to be one of the top five companies globally when it comes to animal pharmaceuticals.

COVID Insights

Initially, even though the pandemic brought a slight dip in the market due to supply chain disruption owing to the lockdown and shutting down of production facilities just like many other industries, it gradually brought with it steady growth with passing time. This was due to the fact that many people adopted or bought pets to keep their mental health balanced in a time that otherwise caused anxiety and despair among people. This increased the demand of these products automatically due to the growing consumer base. Adding to that, the pandemic was a boon for the pharmaceutical industry since the sales increased due to people being cautious about the coronavirus and other infections for themselves as well as their pets.

Global Human Drugs for Veterinary Use Market Scope:

Report Metric Details
Market Size Value in 2021 US$3.357 billion
Market Size Value in 2028 US$4.102 billion
Growth Rate CAGR of 2.90% from 2021 to 2028
Base Year 2021
Forecast Period 2023 – 2028
Forecast Unit (Value) USD Billion
Segments Covered Medication Type, Drug Type, and Geography
Regions Covered North America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific
Companies Covered Merck & Co, Zoetis, Boehringer Ingelheim, Elanco animal health, Vetoquinol S.A, Ceva Sante Animale, Virbac S.A 
Customization Scope Free report customization with purchase