About Animal Medicines

About Animal Medicines

Animals, like humans, are prone to illness and need medicine to treat and prevent disease. And from indoors-only cats to free-range chickens, all animals benefit from today’s veterinary medicines. Better animal health is an important part of animal welfare.

On average, the world spends only about one-fortieth of the amount it devotes to human medicines on animal medicines. But that investment is used to cover animal health innovations for the world’s 24 billion chickens, more than 1 billion cattle and sheep, 750 million pigs and goats, 500 million dogs and 400 million cats. The time, care, and investment put into the research and development of animal medicines ensures a steady stream of new and innovative products that improve the health and well-being of all of these animals.

AHI members, including national and global research companies, provide the pharmaceutical, biological and chemical products that keep animals healthy.  AHI members conduct ongoing research, production and distribution of animal medicines that go through rigorous government review and must be approved by the proper federal regulatory agency.

Animal medicines fall into three primary categories:

  • Biologics, which are commonly known as vaccines
  • Pesticides, which are primarily flea and tick products
  • Pharmaceuticals, which cover a variety of medicines such as  pain medications, anesthetics, heartworm preventatives, antibiotics, and chemotherapy drugs

Pet Health

Scientific research has led to medicines that dramatically improve veterinarians’ ability to prevent pet illnesses and treat those who are sick.  Medicines prevent flea and tick infestation, Lyme disease, rabies, diabetes, feline leukemia, and other types of cancers in pets. Veterinarians use diagnostic tests and medical equipment specifically for animals, which leads to better treatments and more options for pet owners

Livestock and Food Safety

Research shows that healthy animals are an important factor in providing safer food.  Animal medicines are a critical link in the food safety chain, as they represent needed tools for farmers and veterinarians to help to produce healthy animals and to improve the availability of affordable protein.  Like human medicines, animal medicines undergo extensive trials and testing and must be approved by the federal government before they enter the marketplace.