Vet Business

Be Prepared to Share Your Customers

I had dinner the other night with friends from a large pharmaceutical company. As always the talk turned to compounding. The questions were the usual concerns; why do vets buy compounded products, how can we get them to stop, why should we release new products if the compounders are going to make a cheaper version? My answer was simple.
The customers of the equine pharmaceuticals are not just veterinarians but horse owners too!

Why is this? Short of jail or bodily harm the vets who use compounded products will continue to do so in spite of all the compelling reasons not to. Why beat your head against the wall? There is no reason to change. With regards to vets the goal of the pharmas is to keep the ones who buy their products from straying to compounded products.
This brings us to the horse owners themselves. Do they know what a compounded product is? They probably remember about the polo horses that were killed a while back but that was a long time ago. The memory has faded. What would happen if a pharma company prepared an advertising campaign comparing their product with that of a compounded one? What if the risks, the quality control, the potential for harm were revealed? What would happen if customers began asking theirs vet for the real stuff not a knock off product? Do you think more vets would begin buying the real products?

My friends in the pharma industry were worried about alienating veterinarians if such a campaign were created?

The answer was simple. The vets who are buying compounded aren’t buying from them anyhow? Who cares what they think? As for the vets who buy the real stuff? They will be ecstatic that the drug company will highlight to customers those vets who offer the best product to their clients. They will be bigger fans of your products and less likely to switch to compounded products.

What company wouldn’t want loyalty from so many customers?

51 comments
  1. Mike, you bring up great points. I think that there is some distrust between the veterinary profession and the pharmaceuticals. The exorbitant cost of some drugs when they are recently introduced seems excessive from the consumers viewpoint. The savings can be so huge that vets and consumers don't mind "taking a chance" if the risk is perceived as small.

  2. This is a post that a colleague emailed me.

    "I agree that sometimes the pressure put upon the veterinarian to do the "hard sell" on high price products creates a negative practice environment thus the easier route is to offer product "options" and let the clients choose OR, as is often the case, the clients have already made their choice purely on the budget and demand their purchase of choice be available "or else."

  3. Eric,

    I like your thought on taking a chance if the "perceived" risk is small. There has to be a give and take between consumers and the pharmaceutical companies where less pirated goods are bought in exchange for lower prices. Unfortunately the veterinary practitioner is caught in the middle and we can develop a bad reputation based on the prices we have to sell medications. Not an easy fix. Thanks for your comment.

  4. You business only improves if you have lots customer, they are very important for the grow of your business so you need to have effective advertising to get customer.

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  46. Im not going to say what everyone else has already said, but I do want to comment on your knowledge of the topic. Youre truly well-informed. I cant believe how much of this I just wasnt aware of. Thank you for bringing more information to this topic for me. Im truly grateful and really impressed.

  47. I have to say, I dont know if its the clashing colours or the bad grammar, but this blog is hideous! I mean, I dont want to sound like a know-it-all or anything, but could you have possibly put a little bit more effort into this subject. Its really interesting, but you dont represent it well at all, man.

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