Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Pharma industry going to the dogs?

Recently we read about Lilly's reconcile, a beef flavored version of prozac for separation anxiety. Lilly's press release estimates that there are 10 million dogs in the US with this disorder. Lilly's move follows other similar moves by other Pharma majors. Pfizer launched Slentrol for canine obesity and Cerenia for motion sickness.

Lilly's price for reconcile is not yet known but Slentrol is estimated to cost $1 to $2 per day at the retail level. Assuming reconcile costs the same and Lilly gets about 75 cents of that, it could be a good market depending on how many pet owners buy into this. Pharmalyst tried to guesstimate that number based on the number of pet owners and their household income ranges but free data are hard to come by. If 1 million pet owners (1/10th of Lilly's estimate of potential market) were to try this and pay Lilly 75c a day, it works out to approximately 270 million...not too bad. Pet ownership & expenditures on care are similar in percentage terms in other countries like Australia. Could be a lucrative global market.

What's next in this segment? GSK to launch something for "Restless Tail Syndrome"? We start seeing more combination molecules to reduce pill burden? Clinical trials to justify that combo pills improve patient adherence? These will be a sure indicator that "the industry is going to the dogs" as it were!

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