The West does best in the second quarter
Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes veterinary practices had their ups and downs.
Welcome to The Vetalytix Report for the second quarter of 2018. The June/July issue of Today’s Veterinary Business reported that the first quarter proved challenging for many U.S. veterinarians as revealed by decreases in product consumption across numerous categories. With cold and snow taking a toll on business, many regions of the country were significantly more impacted than others. Did practices fare better in April, May and June? Let’s take a look using product consumption data made available through Animalytix and its data platform, Vetalytix.com.
For the second quarter in a row, veterinary business metrics for the mid-Atlantic states were below average compared to broader market dynamics.
Overall clinical volume was up 1 percent compared to the second quarter of 2017 but below the national average of 3 percent. While lagging national trends, the small positive growth represents a 3 percent swing from the negative 1.7 percent observed in the first quarter of 2018.
Some of the challenges in this region can be attributed to a shift in wellness care as both canine and feline core vaccine volumes were again negative compared to the prior year and below national averages. Canine influenza volume, a value that varies significantly depending on the prevalence of clinical outbreaks, increased significantly from the second quarter of 2017.
Procedural volume was off from the second quarter of 2017, although less impacted than the effects observed nationally.
In the case of flea and tick preventives, the data suggests a decrease in second-quarter volume, although no more significant than the effects seen more broadly.
Veterinary business metrics for the East North Central states (Great Lakes) were consistent with broader national trends suggesting continued stability in this regional market.
Overall clinical volume was up 2 percent compared to the second quarter of 2017 and ahead of what was observed in the first quarter of 2018.
Canine and feline core vaccine volumes, which were both mildly negative compared to the prior year, showed above-average growth during the spring months. Canine influenza dose utilization increased when compared to the prior year, consistent to the broader adoption of the antigen as a critical component of vaccination protocols.
Procedural volume and flea and tick dose volume were both off from the second quarter of 2017, but not significantly less impacted than the effects observed nationally.
For the second quarter in a row, overall veterinary business metrics for the Mountain states were positive compared to broader national trends.
Overall clinical volume was up almost 6 percent compared to the second quarter of 2017, double the growth rate observed on a national scale.
Canine and feline core vaccine volumes were both positive. Canine core doses were up 7.4 percent compared to second-quarter 2017 values and feline doses showed positive growth at almost 5 percent.
Canine influenza volume continued to show tremendous growth, far outpacing the national averages.
Procedural volume, although negative, was less impacted than other areas of the country compared to the second-quarter of 2017.
Flea and tick dose volume recovered significantly during the second quarter, up almost 15 percent compared to the same period in 2017.
In the second quarter of 2018, the Pacific states continued to observe positive business metrics compared to other parts of the country.
Overall clinical volume was up almost 4 percent compared to the first quarter of 2017, still outpacing the national average but slightly lower than the 4.8 percent growth observed in the first quarter of 2018.
Canine and feline core vaccine volumes, both relatively ahead of the first-quarter broader market, appeared to have slowed somewhat in the second quarter, with canine core volumes down 2.2 percent and feline core volumes slightly positive at 1.7 percent.
Canine influenza utilization appears to still be exploding, up significantly from the second quarter of 2017 and far outpacing adoption rates on a national scale.
Procedural volume, although negative, was less impacted than other areas of the country compared to 2017.
Flea and tick dose volume remained off from the second quarter of 2017, but not as impacted as the effects observed nationally.
For the second quarter in a row, data reveals that the markets and market dynamics for veterinary medicine are very different depending on the part of the country you’re in. As a result, veterinary practices and the challenges they face are just as diverse.
Data from the second quarter of 2018 suggests better overall market conditions for veterinary practices compared to the tepid start observed in the first quarter. Some categories, such as overall clinical volume, appear to show marked improvements across the board compared to the disappointing first-quarter results seen in many regions. Other categories, such as flea and tick dose volumes, continued to show challenges in the second quarter, suggesting broader issues might be impacting the veterinary practice as a channel.
But there’s no doubt that some areas have significantly more challenges to face while others have positive dynamics to build off of for the remainder of 2018. Understanding these dynamics and the role they play in your market can provide insight into better meeting the needs of your patients and clients.
Vetalytix is the industry’s largest repository of localized economic insight, regulatory compliance and pharmacy support tools, all of which are designed to help the private practitioner compete in today’s challenging economy. Vetalytix is an open community available as a resource to the veterinary profession and is sponsored by the NAVC, Today’s Veterinary Business and leading animal health distributors. For more detailed information related to your local market, go to www.vetalytix.com.
Dr. Travis Meredith oversees veterinary channel intelligence for Animalytix and is director of the Vetalytix Initiative.