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04 Mar 2024


Federation of Independent Veterinary Practices Hall: Central Hall Stand: D405
FIVP representing the independent practice in key debates

House of Lords debates future of veterinary representatives

At the House of Lords on Wednesday, 21 June 2023, members of the veterinary industry took part in a debate entitled Reps: VIP or RIP? Attendees debated the future of veterinary representatives in the UK

The event was organised by the Veterinary Marketing Association (VMA) and chaired by Professor The Lord Trees of The Ross, who set the scene and presented the key market research findings that were gathered to help inform the debate.

Viewpoints and observations were given by a number of guest speakers, including: 

Rita Dingwall, business development manager for the Federation of Independent Veterinary Practices (FIVP), who presented the views from independent practice, including those of the members of the federation.

Donal Murphy, head of international and regulatory affairs with the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH), who presented views with regard to animal medicines and discussed how training of veterinary representatives could evolve in the future.

Martin Sutherland, director and general manager for IDEXX in the UK and Ireland, discussed the parallels and differences with human health, and shared valuable insights from his time working with the NHS.

Paul Horwood, country head of farm at IVC Evidensia, who gave the view from corporate practices and discussed sustainability in relation to sales representatives.

Rita said: “Congratulations to the Veterinary Marketing Association for providing a fascinating debate on the changing role of the ‘sales rep’ at the House of Lords entitled ‘reps’ VIP or RIP chaired by Lord Trees.

“There was a lively discussion regarding the role of the ‘sales rep’ and it was agreed by all that the word ‘rep’ was not a good description for the highly skilled experts that now act as specialist consultants for veterinary practices. 

“It was a privilege to be able to speak on behalf of the Federation of Independent Veterinary Practices and to have the opportunity to share thoughts and ideas.

“Thank you VMA!”


FIVP features on BBC Radio Scotland

Rita Dingwall represented the FIVP on BBC Radio Scotland today as part of a nationwide discussion into the Competitions and Markets Authority’s (CMA) review of UK veterinary practices.

Rita, the group’s business development manager, addressed the authority’s concerns that the costs of veterinary fees were increasing faster than other goods and services.

In the interview, Rita told of the rising costs that practices are seeing when purchasing medication and supplies for treatments.

She also commented on the challenges involved with recruiting new veterinary surgeons and nurses, as wage expectations change in line with inflation.

FIVP speaks to The Times about CMA review

The Times has contacted the FIVP to discuss how the ongoing Competitions and Marketing Authority (CMA) review is affecting independent practices.

The CMA review, which was launched 7 September, aimed to investigate the pricing and provision of veterinary services and medicines by practices. The review was launched partly in response to the increase in independent practices that are being bought out by large corporates.

In her statement, business development manager Rita Dingwall described the impact that the consolidation of veterinary practices is having on independent practices across the country.

Rita said: “Consolidation increases purchasing power.

“This can be detrimental to local independent practices, already facing financial challenges with increased costs, as buying pharmaceuticals in volume drives the corporate purchase price down [to levels] that independents, unless part of a buying group, cannot possibly achieve.”



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