A comprehensive research initiative was announced today by Bayer HealthCare’s Animal Health Division and Brakke Consulting. The research initiative will investigate reasons for the decline in companion animal veterinary visits during the past decade and identify ways to reverse the trend.
While the population of dogs and cats in the U.S. has steadily increased year over year, one million fewer veterinary visits were recorded in 2006 versus 2001, according to data published by the American Veterinary Medical Association. A more recent study demonstrated that the decline has accelerated during the recent recession, with more than half of veterinarians seeing stagnant to declining visits.
Bayer Animal Health and Brakke Consulting’s research will seek to understand the causes behind the reduction in companion animal veterinary visits, and to determine how veterinarians can increase them.
“Bayer Animal Health is committed to developing solutions to increase awareness of the importance of veterinary care visits to pet health,” said Peter Ryan, vice president of Bayer Animal Health’s companion animal business unit. “Pets that are not routinely taken to the veterinarian are pets that are not receiving the medical attention they need to live healthy lives.”
Bayer Animal Health and Brakke Consulting are collaborating on the study with the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI), a professional organization dedicated to improving economic conditions in veterinary medicine.
“We are committed to ensuring the economic future of veterinary medicine and this research project will help to expand the knowledge of the veterinary industry and assist in the creation of solutions for veterinarians,” said Karen E. Felsted, CPA, MS, DVM, CVPM, chief executive officer of NCVEI.
Research objectives include measuring pet owner perceptions of the need for veterinary services, obstacles to scheduling office visits, and the role of alternative channels for pet health information and products. Bayer Animal Health hopes results will yield insights that can increase consumer awareness of the need for veterinary care, and more comprehensive care for America’s pets.
The project will target companion animal veterinarians and U.S. pet owners of all economic levels and major ethnicities.
“The research results should give veterinarians the information they need to better understand recent trends in pet owner behavior, which will help them to develop strategies to increase veterinary care,” said Ron Brakke, president and founder of Brakke Consulting.
Bayer Animal Health and Brakke Consulting expect to complete all fieldwork by Thanksgiving 2010 and have preliminary results by the end of 2010.
About Brakke Consulting
Brakke Consulting is the leading consulting firm specializing in the animal health and nutrition markets. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the firm also maintains offices in Chicago, Omaha, St. Louis and Stuart, FL, and has affiliate offices in Osaka and Sydney. Established in 1986, Brakke provides a full range of consulting services, including General Consulting, Strategic Planning, Mergers and Acquisitions, Market Research Studies, Technology Licensing, Communications Strategies and New Business Development. It is located at 2735 Villa Creek, Dallas, TX, (972) 243-4033, www.brakkeconsulting.com.
About Bayer Animal Health
Bayer HealthCare, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, is one of the world’s leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. The pharmaceuticals business operates under the name Bayer Schering Pharma AG. Bayer HealthCare’s aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. With sales of EUR 977 million (2009) the Animal Health Division is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of veterinary drugs. The division manufactures and markets approximately 100 different veterinary drugs and care products for food-supplying animals and companion animals (dogs, cats, horses).
The National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI) was founded in January 2000 with a mission of raising the economic base of veterinary medicine. A wide-ranging group of benchmarking, pricing and communications tools as well as other resources are available, free of charge, at www.NCVEI.org. The Commission is a not-for-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors representing the three founding organizations: American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. Funding is provided by members of the NCVEI’s Sponsor Council that includes Merial, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Veterinary Pet Insurance, Fort Dodge Animal Health, Bayer Animal Health, CareCredit, and Simmons Educational Fund.