The overall market for veterinary medical products is more than $22 billion – and as more and more households acquire a pets, the market has continued to grow. In the USA, the number of dogs has increased from 68 million to 83.3 million between 2000 and 2014. The total market for veterinary services in the USA is estimated to be just over $15.7 billion in 2015. An estimated 60 million dogs are kept as pets in the EU10 and around 15 million dogs in Japan. Households are also becoming increasingly inclined to spend money on their pets. For example a 2011 study found that a majority of American dog owners considered their dog to be a member of the family. Over the past ten years households’ average increase in animal-related expenditure has been 3-4% per year. In particular, dogs receive veterinary medical treatment to a greater and greater extent. According to American Pet Products, almost 80 percent of all dog owners have their dogs treated with drugs, compared to about 50 percent in 1998.
Cancer in Animals
According to the Center for Cancer Research and CanineCancer.com an estimated six million dogs are diagnosed with cancer each year in the USA. Approximately one third of these have skin cancer. Cancer in animals is similar to cancer in humans and the risk increases with age. Some cancers are more common in certain species, for example lymphoma is the most prevalent cancer in dogs. Most existing cytostatics for intravenous use have been designed for humans and have not been optimized or clinically tested for animals. This means that it is difficult to make an accurate assessment of the overall market and to predict its growth. Among veterinarians, there is a strong interest in pursuing new methods of treatment specifically adapted to animals. When more drugs are approved for use in animals, this is expected to contribute positively to the development of the market. Improved knowledge about diagnosing cancer and about the treatment of cancer is leading to more dogs receiving treatment. In addition, access to oncology specialists is improving, and veterinarians tend to be more and more willing to refer to specialists.
Mastocytoma is a type of skin cancer that arises when so-called mast cells start dividing uncontrollably. The treatment for mastocytoma is primarily by surgery, but in many cases a tumor can be inoperable. Cytostatics are then necessary. Today, there are two registered products for the treatment of mastocytoma: Masivet and Palladia. These two products inhibit a specific protein (tyrosine kinase) but require lifelong treatment to keep the disease at bay. If the disease cannot be treated, it leads to death, but many dogs are put down earlier.
Lymphoma is the most common cancer in dogs. There is no registered drug for the treatment of lymphoma in dogs, however, veterinarians today use human therapies that have been adapted for pets.