Industry guides

Product management for Veterinary products

If you're a product manager in the veterinary industry, this article is a must-read.

Developing veterinary products involves a complex process that requires strategic planning, innovation, and a deep understanding of the market. Managing a product is more than just developing and selling it; it involves researching, testing, launching, and monitoring the product’s success. In this article, we’ll explore the world of product management for veterinary products, its challenges, best practices, and how to navigate the regulatory environment.

Understanding the Veterinary Product Market

Before diving into the product management process, it’s essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the veterinary product market and its potential for growth. The veterinary product market is a vital component of the animal health industry, encompassing a broad range of products and services designed to improve the health and well-being of animals.

The market includes products such as vaccines, pharmaceuticals, diagnostic tests, surgical instruments, and medical devices. These products are used to treat a variety of conditions, including infectious diseases, chronic illnesses, and injuries.

Market Size and Growth Potential

The global veterinary product market is expected to reach over $35 billion by 2024, with a compound annual growth rate of 5.8%. The United States alone accounts for over 42% of the veterinary product market. The growth of the market can be attributed to several factors, including an increasing awareness of animal health, advances in veterinary medicine, and the growing importance of the human-animal bond.

As pet ownership continues to rise, the demand for veterinary products and services is expected to increase. This trend is particularly evident in emerging markets, where rising incomes and changing attitudes towards pet ownership are driving growth in the industry.

Key Players in the Industry

The veterinary product market is highly competitive, with players ranging from multinational corporations to small startups. Some of the key players in the industry include Zoetis, Merck & Co., Inc., Elanco, Bayer AG, and Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health. Each player brings unique products, services, and resources to the market.

Zoetis is the leading animal health company, with a broad portfolio of products and services designed to improve the health and well-being of animals. Merck & Co., Inc. is another major player in the industry, with a focus on developing innovative solutions for animal health. Elanco is a global animal health company that specializes in developing products and services for companion animals, poultry, and livestock. Bayer AG is a multinational pharmaceutical company that has a strong presence in the animal health industry, with a focus on developing innovative solutions for animal health. Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health is a global animal health company that specializes in developing products and services for livestock and companion animals.

Regulatory Environment and Compliance

The veterinary product market is heavily regulated to ensure product safety and efficacy. The regulatory requirements for veterinary products can vary depending on the country and product type. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates all animal drugs and feed, while the European Medicines Agency (EMA) regulates veterinary medicines in Europe.

It’s essential for companies to ensure compliance with these regulations to avoid fines, legal issues, and damage to their reputation. Compliance with regulatory requirements is critical for maintaining product safety and efficacy, and it is essential for protecting the health and well-being of animals.

In addition to regulatory compliance, companies must also consider ethical considerations when developing and marketing veterinary products. Ethical considerations include issues such as animal welfare, environmental impact, and social responsibility. Companies that prioritize ethical considerations are more likely to build trust with consumers and establish a positive reputation in the industry.

The Product Management Process for Veterinary Products

Product management for veterinary products involves a series of stages that starts from ideation to post-launch monitoring. Let’s explore each stage of the process and dive deeper into the details.

Idea Generation and Validation

The first step in product management is identifying a need or an opportunity in the market. Product managers must conduct extensive research to identify gaps in the market and validate their assumptions. This stage involves a lot of brainstorming and ideation sessions to come up with new and innovative ideas.

Product managers can leverage various methods such as customer interviews, online surveys, and focus groups to gather insights. They also analyze market trends and competition to identify the unmet needs of the target audience. Once the idea is validated, the product development and testing phase begins.

Product Development and Testing

Once the idea is validated, the product development and testing phase begins. In this stage, the team collects data, designs, and tests prototypes and iterates until the product meets all the requirements. Product managers must ensure that all products meet regulatory and safety standards.

This stage involves a lot of collaboration between the product development team, designers, and engineers. They work together to create a product that meets the needs of the target audience while also being feasible and cost-effective. Product managers must also ensure that the product is scalable and can be manufactured at a large scale.

Launching and Marketing the Product

After the product has been developed and tested, the launch stage begins. Product managers typically work with marketing and sales teams to create a comprehensive launch plan that incorporates various strategies such as events, advertising, and digital media. Launch day is critical, and product managers must ensure that everything goes according to plan.

Marketing the product involves creating a compelling message that resonates with the target audience. Product managers must also ensure that the product is priced correctly and that there is enough inventory to meet the demand. They also work with the sales team to train them on the product's features and benefits so that they can effectively sell it to customers.

Post-launch Monitoring and Improvement

The launch is not the end of the product management process; rather, it’s the beginning of the post-launch phase. Product managers must continuously monitor the product's performance to identify opportunities for improvement or areas of concern. They work with development teams to address any issues and iterate on the product's design and features to ensure that it remains competitive and profitable.

This stage involves analyzing customer feedback, sales data, and market trends to identify areas where the product can be improved. Product managers must also keep an eye on the competition and ensure that their product remains relevant in the market. They may also need to make adjustments to the marketing strategy or pricing to stay competitive.

In conclusion, product management for veterinary products is a complex and iterative process that involves a lot of research, collaboration, and monitoring. Product managers must be able to identify market needs, develop products that meet those needs, and continuously improve them to stay competitive in the market.

Challenges in Veterinary Product Management

Product management for veterinary products is not without its challenges. Let’s explore some of the most common challenges that product managers face.

Meeting Regulatory Requirements

The regulatory environment for veterinary products is complex and constantly evolving. Companies must stay up to date with the latest regulations to avoid fines, legal issues, and damage to their reputation.

It is important for product managers to understand the regulatory requirements for each country they operate in. This includes understanding the registration process, labeling requirements, and any restrictions on the use of certain ingredients.

Additionally, product managers must be aware of any changes to regulations and be prepared to adjust their products and processes accordingly. This can be a time-consuming and costly process, but it is necessary to ensure compliance and maintain customer trust.

Ensuring Product Safety and Efficacy

Animal health is critical, and veterinary products must be safe and effective. Product managers must ensure that the product meets all safety standards and that any risks are clearly communicated to customers.

Product safety and efficacy can be tested through clinical trials and other studies. Product managers must also stay up to date with any adverse events or safety concerns related to their products and take appropriate action if necessary.

It is also important for product managers to consider the impact of their products on the environment. Many customers are looking for environmentally-friendly options, and companies that prioritize sustainability may have a competitive advantage.

Navigating Market Competition

The veterinary product market is highly competitive. Companies must differentiate their products from competitors and continuously innovate to stay ahead of the game.

One way to differentiate products is through branding and marketing. Product managers must understand their target audience and develop messaging that resonates with them. They must also be aware of their competitors’ marketing strategies and adjust their own accordingly.

Product managers must also stay up to date with industry trends and innovations. This includes monitoring new product launches, attending industry conferences, and collaborating with experts in the field.

Adapting to Technological Advancements

Technological advancements are transforming the veterinary product market. Companies must adapt and innovate to keep up with these changes, or risk being left behind.

One example of technological advancement in the veterinary industry is telemedicine. Product managers must consider how telemedicine can be integrated into their products and services, and how it can improve customer experience and outcomes.

Another example is the use of artificial intelligence in product development and manufacturing. Product managers must be aware of the potential benefits and risks of using AI, and how it can be used to improve product safety and efficacy.

Overall, product managers in the veterinary industry face a unique set of challenges. By staying up to date with regulations, prioritizing safety and efficacy, differentiating their products, and adapting to technological advancements, they can succeed in this competitive market.

Best Practices for Veterinary Product Management

Product management for veterinary products requires a strategic and customer-centric approach. Here are some best practices for effective product management.

Building a Cross-functional Team

Cross-functional teams bring diverse perspectives and skill sets to the table, allowing for more effective problem-solving and decision-making. Product managers should collaborate with teams such as marketing, sales, development, and regulatory affairs to ensure that the product is successful.

Developing a Comprehensive Product Roadmap

A product roadmap helps product managers prioritize and communicate product development plans, ensuring alignment across teams. It outlines the product vision, goals, and timeline for development, launch, and post-launch updates.

Leveraging Data and Analytics

Data and analytics provide valuable insights into customer behavior and product performance. Product managers should establish metrics for success, track performance, and leverage data to make informed decisions.

Fostering a Customer-centric Approach

At the heart of product management is satisfying customer needs and solving their problems. Product managers should always put customer needs first and incorporate feedback into the product development process.


Product management for veterinary products requires a balance of strategy, innovation, and regulatory compliance. It involves understanding the market, navigating challenges, applying best practices, and putting customers first. By following these principles, product managers can develop successful products that improve animal health and strengthen the human-animal bond.

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