The Experts in Animal Health

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Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for July 8, 2011

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Editor: Lynn Fondon, DVM MBA
Brakke news
strategic planning
other news

Brakke Consulting is an excellent resource in the strategic planning process.  Brakke Consulting’s past assistance in strategic planning has included:
   – benchmarking various functions against company competitors in the larger markets, which might include sales force size, technical services, and/or R&D spend vs. sales
   – reviewing the timing of various new product introductions versus probable timing of competitive introductions, and estimating the impact of various scenarios
Brakke Consulting can provide insights and professional assistance that improves the likelihood of success.  Please contact us if you would like the benefit of professional assistance in any of these areas. Contact information for all offices are available on our website at
> Pfizer Inc. announced that it is exploring strategic alternatives for its Animal Health and Nutrition businesses based on its recent business portfolio review to determine the optimal mix of businesses for maximizing shareholder value. The company is considering options that may include, among others, a full or partial separation of each of these businesses from Pfizer through a spin-off, sale or other transaction. Given the separate and distinct nature of Animal Health and Nutrition, the company may pursue a different strategic alternative for each business. (Business Wire) 
> Velcera announced that, following a Georgia District Court granting motions filed by Merial for contempt against Velcera, FidoPharm and Cipla Limited (their contract manufacturer for PetArmor Plus), the court stayed its order for 60 days to allow time for an appeal to the US Court of Appeals. As a result, PetArmor and PetArmor Plus currently remain available for sale at retail outlets.  Velcera and FidoPharm continue to maintain that they do not infringe any valid claim of the Merial patent in question, and they are currently pursuing claims of non-infringement and invalidity in federal district court in Delaware. (PRNewswire) 
> Janssen Pharmaceutica NV announced it has completed the divestiture of its Animal Health business to Elanco. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. (PRNewswire)
> Bioniche Life Sciences announced it intends to acquire Plasvacc Holdings, an Australian equine and canine hyperimmune plasma production and distribution company, for an undisclosed sum. Plasvacc’s products are available in the Australian and North American markets. ( 
> Innovacyn Inc. announced the launch of Vetericyn VF Ophthalmic Wash and Vetericyn VF Otic Rinse antimicrobial solutions.  The new no-rinse eye and ear products are available exclusively to licensed veterinarians in the US and Canada. (company press release)
> US – VETERINARY EDUCATION   Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) in Tennessee announced plans to open its new veterinary college next year. The newly formed LMU College of Veterinary and Comparative Medicine plans to open its doors in 2012 with a starting class of 100 veterinary students. Lincoln Memorial University has maintained a veterinary technology program since 1985. According to DVM Newsmagazine, the new veterinary college is slated for a site visit by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s accrediting body in October.  (DVM360)
Many of you seem to still be on vacation based on the limited amount of news stories this week. So, this gives us an opportunity to address a couple of industry issues. 
John Volk of our Chicago office indicated that yesterday a group called “Mercy for Animals” was handing out brochures on the Chicago subway.  The brochure is titled “25 Reasons to Try Vegetarian.”  John, who is a confirmed meat eater and has deep experience in professional communications, said the brochure is done quite well. It has lots of “nice” and “not so nice” pictures of animals. All of the “nice” shots are baby animals ¬ piglets, chicks, calves (everything is cute when it’s young, as grandma used to say!).  All of the “not nice” pictures show pain & suffering – hot-iron branding of cattle, castrating pigs, debeaking chickens and crowded layer cages. This is just one example of how various groups present the image of animal protein production to non-ag audiences.  It’s important for all of us in the animal health industry to provide ballast to these types of communications, and also to keep in mind that livestock production methods must withstand the scrutiny of non-farm people – food-eating consumers!
In the newsletter you will note that there is going to be a new veterinary college next year.  Is there really a need for another veterinary school? Were any studies completed on the need for more veterinarians before this decision was made?  The American Association of Bovine Practitioners just issued a report indicating that there is a sufficient number of rural veterinarians.  On the companion animal side, veterinary visits are declining, and nearly any pet owner can get a routine appointment with their veterinarian within 24 hours. (I need to schedule my own annual physical three to four months in advance!)  We think the veterinary profession needs to take a long, hard look at whether it can justify any more veterinary colleges.

Over the last dozen years, Brakke has conducted three landmark studies on the economics of the veterinary profession.  It’s difficult for us to see the need for more veterinarians in the data. Perhaps you have a different view.  We’d enjoy being part of the conversation, and believe this topic should get thorough discussion before it’s too late!!
Have a good weekend!! Stay cool!!
Ron Brakke
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Dallas, TX  75234    USA


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