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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Changes In the Wind

Veterinary medicine is full of changes on a regular basis.  Products come and go, current medical viewpoints shift, and we have to keep up with it all.  Recently we have had changes in the type of insulin we have available for pets due to some manufacturers not making some kinds and others picking up the slack.  We sometimes have to change our medical practice because of a pharmaceutical company deciding to make or stop making a given product.

This week I found out that Bayer is going to officially sell it's line of flea and tick products over-the-counter.  Here in the US they have chosen to sell only through veterinarians.  Now, that's their official position, as I know it's easily available online and through certain pet stores.  But Bayer is going to start making Advantage and K9 Advantix easily for sale outside of veterinarians. Which means that vets will no longer be stocking these products.

Frankly, the decision doesn't completely surprise me, as I've seen the industry moving this way for years, and I know that in other countries this has already happened.  I also don't think that vets should focus on retail sales over good medical service and procedures.  However, this is going to come as a big blow to vets and is going to result in a quite sizable revenue loss for those vets who have carried the Bayer products.

But, we all have to adapt or die.  This is one more change in my career, and I'm certain it won't be the last.  As I vet I have to focus on giving excellent client service and keeping a high medical quality.  The loss or addition of any specific product may change things to some degree, but in the end I'm still a doctor and need to concentrate first and foremost on this fact.