Animal health called ‘meaningful economic driver’

The entire industry employs more than 1 million people in the United States and is responsible for hundreds of billions of dollars in annual output.

Animal health called ‘meaningful economic driver’

Just how large is the U.S. animal health industry?

A study produced by NDP Analytics on behalf of the Animal Health Institute found that $11.4 billion worth of medicines for small and large animals was produced by U.S. manufacturers in 2016. They employed 21,257 people and paid more than $1.2 billion in wages.

Other segments — veterinary services, animal production, meat and dairy production, and pet services — generated a combined $548 billion in output in 2016 and were responsible for 1.4 million jobs, the report revealed.

“With more than 67 percent of U.S. households owning pets, it’s undeniable that animals are fully integrated into our daily lives,” said Alexander Matthews, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based Animal Health Institute. “But it may be surprising to some that the business of keeping those animals healthy, which also helps keep humans healthy, is a meaningful economic driver in every state in the U.S.”

The study, “The Economic and Social Contributions of the Animal Health Industry,” is available at

Among other findings:

  • Pharmaceuticals made up just over half of the $11.4 billion in medicine production. Flea and tick products represented 29 percent of the total, or $2.9 billion, and biologics were at 19 percent, or $1.9 billion.
  • Veterinary services employed 359,103 people, from veterinarians to veterinary technicians to administrative staff. The report counted 79,600 veterinarians. The American Veterinary Medical Association, on the other hand, set the number at 117,735 veterinarians in 2017, including 71,393 in private clinical practice and the rest in public or corporate employment.
  • The animal health industry reinvested 8.5 percent of its sales, or $970 million, into research and development in 2016. Protection Status