In most countries, the Government is a critical stakeholder in human health as a payer or structurally and over the last 20 years countries have adopted a more centralised approach to healthcare delivery. In animal care the government is less central to the provision of care to the pet, farm animal or horse – yet they still have a critical role in the regulatory process and legislative framework. The structure of the markets in animal health is more diverse – but is starting to consolidate with the increasing importance of buying groups, corporate ownership of practices and the development of primary and secondary treatment centres and specialist hospitals.
Whilst the therapies used in animal health are similar to human health, and I find myself working on many familiar products – having an indication by species is a significant difference and the regulatory requirements for each species create more complexity than a clinical program for humans.
Pricing of products in human health is driven by regulations and payer organisations in most countries with the “out of pocket” market moving gradually to an insurance or government-based funding model.
In animal care the increase in buying groups and corporates is starting to drive the need for good economic arguments for new products however these changes are happening more gradually and at a different pace in different countries. This means that our organisation needs to be agile and flexible, and close to our customers, so that we can build the right business model, adapt our organisation and respond to the pace of change.