Access VetMed is the European level organisation representing generic and added value veterinary medicines. We talked to Anne Moulin, the CEO of Dômes Pharma about the added value medicines and how she sees the future of the veterinary medicines sector.
Q: Many of Access VetMed’s members produce added value medicines. Can you tell us what they are? How do they distinguish from the generics or originators?
A: Like generics, the added value medicines are based on known molecules. Their purpose is to bring innovation to address animal health needs and provide product improvements for the veterinarians and pet owners. They also fill therapeutic gaps in speciality domains and in niche markets.
Q: As a member, what do you think about Access VetMed, the new name of the association?
A: We identify with the new name. We are fully committed to increasing access and availability to veterinary medicines. We do this by improving dosages to the target species, through improved galenic form, enhanced packaging or easier palatability. The last one is a key for an efficient treatment, and especially in chronic diseases, where the daily treatment of a pet can be a challenge.
Q: What would you say is the most important impact of the added value medicines for animal health?
A: The most important quality is the improved ease of use, both for vets and pet owners.
Let’s take vitamin K1 for example. In 1992 when exchanging with veterinary practitioners and vets of the National Information Centre for Veterinarian Toxicology in Lyon, we realised that to save the life of a 20 kg dog poisoned by anticoagulant rodenticides (rat venom), he should be given 10 tablets per day for 21 days in addition to emergency injection. These tablets were only available in pharmacies, and the local pharmacy would not necessarily have the required amount in stock. This would mean, the owner or the vet would have to go around the nearby pharmacies to find a sufficient amount. To facilitate access to this vital treatment and make it simpler to use, we then decided to develop our own vitamin K1 for dogs.
Other example relates to poor compliance with treatments. Some 30 to 60 percent of dog owners interrupt their pet’s treatment because they have difficulty giving the medicine to their pet. To address this and improve the compliance in long-term treatments, we developed a poultry-flavoured palatable medicine with a texture that helps chewing. The first products came out of production last November.
Q: What would you see as the main drivers in the veterinary medicines sector? What does the future look like?
A: There are still numerous therapeutic gaps and unmet needs in the market. Large companies or laboratories have no interest in investing into niche diseases or minor species. In recent years, mergers and acquisitions by multinationals have reduced the number of individual companies while they have grown in size. As a result, they are mainly interested in global markets and the therapeutic areas that are no longer profitable enough, will be gradually abandoned. This is where we can step in and continue to grow by filling these gaps.
The pet health business continues to grow. Cats and dogs have become members of the family and owners want to keep in good shape and healthy. Their life expectancy has improved dramatically, but at the same time older animals develop new diseases that require treatment.
COVID-19 accelerated the trend of pet care and new owners who look for advice. People are increasingly conscious about health. They are willing to invest in preventative care more than before.
Q: What is your favourite animal and why?
A: Horse has been my favourite animal ever since the first time I rode one as an 8-year-old little girl. I have a 5-year-old mare, Selle Français called Guapa. She is adorable. She loves to work with me and do her best. She is expressive and sweet. I am her biggest fan, and I want to give her the best care and make sure she enjoys her life.
Anne Moulin, the CEO of Dômes Pharma group, represents the third generation in the family business of pet medicinal products established in 1947. Her grandparents, René and Simone Moulin were pioneers in the field of veterinary medicine in France, and her father continued to expand the company to an industrial pharmaceutical group. Today with six subsidiaries, of which two abroad, and sales of €82 million, Dômes Pharma employs close to 400 people. The group includes the entire medicines value chain and covers all distribution channels. TVM, one of the veterinarian brands is the French leader for ophthalmology and neurology and the European leader in treatments of poisoned pets.