The demand for veterinary medicines is growing strongly worldwide and the overall market is already worth around EUR 25 billion. Veterinary medicines also offer Orion a growth opportunity. They are part of the Group’s growth strategy that extends to 2025.
“We are trying to break into new markets, and the Group also offers us potential to expand. In accordance with Orion’s strategy we aim to grow faster than the market,” says Niclas Lindstedt, Vice President of the Veterinary Medicine unit, or Orion Pharma Animal Health.
Orion’s euro-denominated share of the veterinary medicine market is currently approximately EUR 70 million, which represents eight per cent of the Group’s net sales.
Pets are increasingly important – new attitude includes production animals
The popularity of veterinary medicine is largely explained by the fact that people are increasingly willing to spend money on the well-being of their own pets. This trend is also likely to be strengthened by the fact that people are living longer and, at the same time, are having fewer children: for many, a dog or cat is a beloved and long-term friend and even a member of the family.
The spread of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 further emphasised the importance of pets. As there was less spending and travel going on, people were focusing on getting pets and spending a lot of time with them at home. At the same time, possible problems have been easier to notice.
There has also been a change in our attitudes to production animals, which has affected the use and development of veterinary medicines. Instead of treatment, the preferred goal is prevention.
“We are now seeking, for example, alternative and more natural methods to reduce the need for so many antibiotics,” says Lindstedt.
In veterinary medicines Orion’s strength is specialisation
In order for a company the size of Orion to hold its own on the veterinary medicine market with international pharmaceutical giants, it needs to specialise, instead of trying to compete in the areas of the most popular products. The most popular products include tick treatments, vaccines and antibiotics.
Orion Pharma Animal Health’s three focus areas in veterinary medicine are pain and sedation, behavioural medicines and microbiome products.
The company’s strength on the international veterinary medicine market is that it is recognised by the various players in the sector, as Orion collaborates in various ways with all the major companies around the world.
“And in Finland, the long history of the Finnish Orion naturally provides an advantage,” says Lindstedt.
As we grow, the goal is to ensure that Animal Health’s products and services are even more readily available all over the world. Online searches mean that many customers already tend to have an idea of what is wrong with their pet even before they visit a vet and Animal Health’s task is to help veterinarians in their work.
Top-class product development provides strong foundation for veterinary medicines
Orion’s strategy in veterinary medicine has for years been to continuously develop new innovations and to seek new areas. Orion Pharma Animal Health’s biggest advantage is that as part of a group, there is a multifaceted and reliable pharmaceutical manufacturer behind it.
“In proportion to net sales, we have the largest product development operations in the world. And if special expertise is needed in product development, we can always find it within Orion,” Lindstedt says.
In practice, the background support services offered by the group ensure that Animal Health can focus on its core competence, i.e. sales, marketing and communications related to veterinary medicines.
During 2021, the company was granted two new marketing authorisations for prescription behavioural medicines: one is intended to alleviate acute anxiety and fear associated with travel and visits to the vet in cats, and the other is intended for short-term alleviation of situational anxiety and fear in dogs resulting from being left alone or from loud noises. According to Lindstedt, the launch of these products and their export to the market are an important part of Animal Health’s growth story.
The EU’s Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulation (2022) will offer new prospects and opportunities. Europe is expected to become an increasingly important marketing area for Orion’s veterinary medicines.
Animal Health’s new visual identity highlights its forward-looking attitude
As always on the market, standing out from the competition is important also in veterinary medicines. Orion Pharma Animal Health has renewed its visual identity to better describe the brand.
The new image can be seen on the new website, for example, which is now the same in all of Animal Health’s countries of operation. The website shows straight away what kind of company you are dealing with.
“We are known as being a safe operator who gets things done in any situation. We are reliable and want to tell everyone about our characteristic forward-looking attitude. Alongside our professional approach, we also have a slight twinkle in our eye,” says Lindstedt.
Text: Sanna Jäppinen
20 December 2021