Not only is research revealing common traits between humans and dogs, but new biotech companies are pushing for bringing human-like therapies in the form of dog medicine for the better of your dog’s health.
According to National Pet Owners Survey statistics for 2013-2014, Americans will spend over $58 billion on their pets by the end of this year. About $15 billion of that money will go to veterinary care, which includes all routine care as well as prescription medications.
Charles Schumer, a democratic United States Senator from New York, believes that pet owners could save millions if they were able to buy their pet’s prescription medications at regular pharmacies.
Currently, veterinary offices are the only places that dispense these dog medications. As to be assumed, such offices substantially raise the price of these medications. Schumer claims that pet owners are spending an average of $10 billion a year on pet medications and health related products. He is currently trying to bring about legislation that would allow pet owners to purchase these items at a pharmacy or through an online retailer.
The two most costly health issues that dog owners face in their pets are cancer and arthritis.
For this reason, many major companies including Nexvet, Aratana Therapeutics, CanFel Therapeutics, Vet DC, and Fetch Pharma are trying to cash in on the possible market for new drugs that will treat diseases like these in domesticated animals. It is unknown right now what the cost of these dog drugs will be, but experts in the field are hoping to keep the cost at a fraction of what it takes to develop medications for humans.
Executives from these companies are claiming that they can bring the same breakthrough therapies that are being used on humans to pets with similar serious conditions.
In June of this year, one of the companies, Aratana, announced that they are enrolling pet patients into two nationwide clinical trials. The trials are testing the effects of Aratana’s AT-005 on canine T-cell lymphoma. According to them, the trials were designed by veterinary oncologists to further the understanding of the antibody’s clinical worth if it was able to gain full licensing from the USDA. The company is hoping for full licensure sometime in 2015.
The question of the cost to pet owners is the number one thing on everyone’s minds right now.
Given the price of some of these therapies for humans, many of which are tens of thousands of dollars, it is understandable why the cost to consumers is being focused on so highly. Aratana CEO Steven St. Peter says;
“The USDA has regulations around manufacturing and focused on quality. You don’t need to do GMP manufacturing. We can make the monoclonals a log scale cheaper than a human monoclonal can be manufactured and that allows us to have the commercial viability.”
Other companies are also working on creating pet drugs to treat diseases like dog arthritis and feline kidney disease. Many experts are saying that the animal health industry is a very attractive business prospect right now. Some even believe it may be more lucrative than the market for human pharmaceuticals.
This leads pet owners to believe that it won’t be long before drugs like this are on the market, and with the rising number of pets with health issues, it will surely be a welcomed addition to the treatment options that are available now.