How to succeed in the farm animal health market | Companion Consultancy

Some stats:

  • The global animal healthcare market is worth $30-35Bn
  • 58% of this the farm animal health market
  • The market is predicted to increase CAGR ~4.2% year on year
  • The market is segmented into feed additives (45%), pharmaceuticals and vaccines

Major influences:

Current trends driving increased investment in farm animal health are: the global increased demand for meat and milk; government mandates for increased self-sufficiency; shift to higher quality, higher welfare, safer food; scarcity of arable land and water; vertical integration across production processes; innovations in human health; one health medicine with human-animal crossover; antimicrobial resistance and the emphasis on preventative medicine; data insights – collection and utilisation of production and performance data from the individual animal to entire populations.

Know Your Target:

The farm animal health industry includes both producers and vets in the decision-making process, with the intervention of government food and health policies and procedures. Producers vary from small scale hobby farmers through to industrial scale commercial operations. The end market will determine both financial opportunities, scale and how you plan to market and promote the product. The end user is a partnership between the vet and producer, so the product and supporting materials must consider both parties. The product needs to be easily administered or applied (usually in bulk), and well tolerated by the animal.



The farm animal market being much smaller than the human health market is therefore a higher risk for financial returns, but with significantly lower barriers to entry. There are several options to reduce risk, which should be considered in light of the potential market size and share. It also depends on the type of product and how wide the applications, e.g. the process for pharmaceuticals is more complex than for medical devices.

No license

  • If a pharmaceutical is authorised for human use and no suitable alternative is available to vets, a product may be used in animals under the prescribing cascade:
  • There are constraints on meat and milk withdrawal, with the maximum period being applied to unlicensed medications.
  • It is not permitted to market or advertise use in this way, and although scientific publications and case reports may have been published they cannot be directly linked to the product or indication in marketing and promotions. Clinical detail can be given by word of mouth recommendations by KoLs and experts, but not advertised.

Full licensing in house

  • A high-risk strategy as the regulatory process alone costs £millions.
  • Complex and time sensitive.
  • For worldwide licensing, country requirements vary so the process has to be translated and completed multiple times.
  • Once authorisation for use is obtained, the manufacture, distribution and marketing all need to be considered.

Full licensing via a third-party organisation

  • Companies can complete the regulatory process on your behalf, but you remain in control of everything else. We can connect you with these companies.

M&A; partnering with larger pharma / animal health companies

  • Pros: Pharma companies have the expertise and finance for R&D, regulatory affairs, production, distribution and marketing worldwide. They also have the footfall of reps on farms and in vet practices to promote the product direct to the end users, plus presence at commercial exhibitions.
  • Cons: partnering with big pharma may come at a cost, with reduced independence, agility and the potential corporate stalling.
  • Who? Look who currently has the biggest influence in the relevant sector and is actively seeking out innovative products. We can help you determine this and make introductions.



Identifying the target

The first step is to discuss the potential market, specific to species and diagnostic or therapeutic target. We can then help to determine estimated size of the target market and advise on which channels are most appropriate to consider. Once the strategy is agreed, we can make introductions to key players within the relevant companies and institutions to get you moving forwards.

Attracting investment and partnering

Companion Consultancy has over 20 years of PR expertise within the veterinary, pet and animal health sectors, and can advise on different investment channels and how to appeal to them through targeted press releases, trade show attendance and advertising. Whatever your budget, we aim to maximise your return on investment with us, and will create a bespoke plan to provide you with the best value for money.

Developing brand and presence

The animal health sector has many quirks. We can provide brand and design advice, and ensure you’re sending the right message to the industry as well as the owners at the end of the line. We can manage your social media channels to ensure content is on brand and reflects your core values, using the appropriate terminology and tone.

Hitting the Target

Fundamentally, you want to see your innovation used as widely as possible. So do we! Our passion, as vets, is to see animal welfare improved and we work with that driving core value to ensure your product reaches the animals, producers and animals that need it. Our expertise in marketing and PR to vets, producers and consumers ensures we can put together a campaign to reach across the industry and into businesses and practices, and ultimately to the people and animals who will benefit.

For more information and a quote, please contact us