FidoPharm readies for heartworm preventive launch through Wal-Mart, Sam's Club
Velcera’s president and CEO, Dennis F. Steadman tells DVM Newsmagazine, the direct-to-pharmacy launch ushers in a new era that is being driven by consumer demand.
“As we launch the first generic heartworm brand, our goal is to increase ultimately the numbers of dogs protected from heartworm disease.” The product is making its debut at the American Pharmacists Association this weekend in New Orleans.
As part of the launch, the company is spearheading what it describes “as an aggressive consumer television, Internet and in-store promotional campaign” in Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores.
The consumer campaign, Steadman says, is intended to drive pet owners to veterinary clinics for heartworm testing. As part of the launch the company will be sending veterinarians a Dear Doctor letter informing them about the product debut.
PetTrust Plus (ivermectin/pyrantel) is an FDA-approved prescription chewable tablet for the prevention of heartworm disease and treatment and control of adult Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonine, Ancylostoma caninum, Uncinaria stenocephala, and Ancylostoma braziliense. The product is expected in stores on March 15. The target market, Steadman says, are pets not currently on heartworm preventives or for those owners who are price sensitive.
“The American Heartworm Society reported that 64 percent of pet owners leave the vet clinic without a heartworm preventive. That is a very high and troubling number,” Steadman explains. “It says they are looking for some alternative because they are not providing the full protection that pets and pet owners deserve. By offering pet owners more choices and more alternatives, we think we can protect more animals and satisfy more pet owners.”
The launch coincides with a changing veterinary drug distribution system, Steadman says, whether it is with online pharmacies or other traditional large-scale retailers/pharmacies.
FidoPharm also launched an over-the-counter fipronil flea product called PetArmor that became embroiled in patent-infringement litigation with Merial last year, as reported by DVM Newsmagazine. The company continues to work on bringing other therapeutic veterinary products to market through pharmacies.