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Flea and worm treatments
27th May 2013

by Sandra Pearce


A monthly snapshot and analysis of a different sector within the UK pet industry

According to the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH), which represents the UK animal medicine industry, total approximate sales of endoparasiticides, ectoparasiticides and endectocides for farm and companion animals in 2012 amounted to £204 million. The figure is based on data supplied by companies who participate in NOAH’s sales survey, covering around 90% of the UK market.

Endoparasiticides are medicines that prevent and treat infestations by parasites that invade the body, such as worms, flukes or coccidial protozoa; ectoparasiticides prevent and treat infestation by parasites that live on an animal, including mites, ticks, fleas, flies; while endectocides deal with both types.

NOAH further says that over half the animal medicine sales, by value, are for pets – in 2012, this amounted to 54.6%. NOAH includes sales of all medicines, from those that can be sold by anyone on the general sales list, to those that can be supplied by SQPs and finally, prescription-only medicines.

Market researcher AMA Research has focussed on the flea and worming categories and says it estimates the market value to be worth approximately £91 million RSP in 2012. It said in its Pet Accessories Market Report UK 2011-2015: “Flea and worm treatments have helped to underpin the market during the recession. Deregulation of these products has led to their wider distribution, which had previously been ‘vets only’ treatments. Also, pet owners have become increasingly aware of the importance of preventative care. Within this sector, spot-on treatments have continued to see good growth for both flea and worm treatments, although the latter is currently a niche market.”

Claire Sullivan, marketing manager for Bob Martin, said: “For animals, spot-ons are the most popular. Spot-ons are used across the board by companies as they’re an effective way of applying the treatment, which then migrates across the skin.”

For many, treatments such as Johnson's Veterinary Products’ 4Fleas Household Spray continue to have appeal. This product has won ‘Best Cat Flea product’ for a fourth consecutive year among Your Cat readers.

In March 2012, Bob Martin took on market leader Frontline by launching FleaClear, which also uses fipronil, but can be bought over-the-counter in supermarkets and pet stores without a prescription. Strong marketing activity supported the launch including TV advertising, PR, press advertisements in lifestyle magazines and social media activity. Six months later, Bob Martin signed a seven-week sponsorship deal for ITV1’s Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, promoting the FleaClear range.

In the worming category, Ceva Santé Animale says worming treatments with ingredients such as febantel, pyrantel and praziquantel ‘are great’ as they treat gastrointestinal tapeworms and roundworms in puppies and dogs. Ceva’s worming treatment, Cestem, contains all three ingredients, which have proven efficacy against intestinal worms such as roundworms, ascarids, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms.

Market leader Drontal is the ‘most prescribed wormer in the UK’, and comes in tablet or suspension form.

Philip Ghazala, of natural remedy Verm-X, says there ‘has been significant growth in the use of natural products’ in the sector.