Dogs and Drugs: The next Pharmaceutical Frontier?
Recently, I read a blog post that started me thinking about dogs and drugs. Maybe it’s the fact that the healthcare debate has been so much in the forefront recently, or that I have cared for a few pets now who take drugs to manage their anxiety, but either way it made me wonder… Are pharmaceutical companies paying attention to the amount of money we are spending on our pets these days? And, if so (and I am pretty sure it’s not a matter of “if” anymore), are we paying attention? Are we asking the right questions about all these drugs that we are told our pet needs? According to a NY Times article on July 13, 2008, “Most consumer spending is still on traditional pet medications like antiparasitics, but Ipsos, a marketing research firm, estimates that at least $15 million was spent on behavior-modification drugs in the United States in 2005.”
Nowadays we humans pop a pill for everything: grief, anxiety, depression, stress, etc. I know for some people these drugs provide a solution that helps them to live their lives more fully, but in a society that prescribes a drug for everything, are we going to do the same to our pets? I know for some pets these drugs actually do help, but for many that is not the case. Will we choose the “easy-out” versus taking the option that requires time, commitment, training, and in some cases, a lot of work? Or, will our pets be the next frontier that helps pharmaceutical companies add more dollars to their bottom line?
What do you think? Let me know.
By the way, here are some great resources for you to check out (personally I would check out the NY Times article – it’s an eye-opener):
This is your pet. This is your pet on anti-anxiety drugs. Any questions?
What Should You Choose – Anxiety Medication for Dogs or Behavior Modification
An epidemic of ADD or a Matter of Overdiagnosis? Does ADD really exist?