SPVS response to Competition and Market Authority review of veterinary sector 12.3.24 - Veterinary Practice
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SPVS response to Competition and Market Authority review of veterinary sector 12.3.24

The Competition and Marketing Authority (CMA) have completed their initial review of veterinary services have made a provisional decision to launch a formal market investigation with increased legal remedies. SPVS continues to be actively working alongside other veterinary divisions to both represent members’ views to BVA and provide practical support to members.  

SPVS will continue to engage with the CMA review and support our members. We are confident that practices that focus on client needs, maintain their trust, and continue to provide valued service for their clients will successfully navigate this.

The key concerns identified by the CMA review are:

  • Consumers may not be given enough information to enable them to choose the best veterinary practice or the right treatment for their needs
  • Concentrated local markets, in part driven by sector consolidation, may be leading to weak competition in some areas
  • Large corporate groups may have incentives to act in ways which reduce choice and weaken competition
  • Pet owners might be overpaying for medicines or prescriptions. The regulatory framework is outdated and may no longer be fit for purpose

Clearly, changes will occur given the large number of submissions to the CMA. Several of the areas of investigation relate to strategic high-level changes and are out of the control of a local practice. The most important focus today, however, is to provide support both to the practice team and the clients who may be upset and sensitised by the findings of the review.

By the end of the week, SPVS will communicate to its members the key take-outs from the report and how to mitigate the impact. This will focus on practical support for members, such as:

  • Inform on CMA developments
  • Advice on how to deal with client concerns
  • Produce a document on prescriptions for practice

BVA president and former SPVS president Anna Judson summed this up nicely – “We want to see healthy competition, consumer choice and thriving veterinary businesses.”.

Transparency, effective client communications, simple, effective pricing systems and strong leadership will be required to help practices through this period of change.

For more information about SPVS, becoming a member, member benefits and support for practices, visit Member Benefits – SPVS Ltd

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