The Australian Veterinarians in Industry Group provides a forum for veterinarians employed in the industry.
One of the main aims of the Group is to assist in producing and disseminating technical materials to the veterinary profession. This includes guidelines for laboratory and field trials and guides for the proper use of chemicals in the livestock industry.
Members are mainly employed by veterinary pharmaceutical companies throughout Australia. However, others are involved in government regulation including the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), as well as independent consultants that specialise in product development and registration.
In general, veterinary roles in the industry can be broadly divided into sales, technical services, product development, and marketing. Veterinarians working in these areas find the variety of activities and ever-changing scientific environment stimulating.
Much of the work is specialised and demanding, and as a resulting salary and conditions are usually well above those offered in private practice.
Veterinarians within industry working in sales would usually visit veterinarians to promote a range of veterinary ethical products, such as vaccines, anthelmintics, and therapeutic diet foods.
Those in a technical role are usually involved in training the sales force and maintaining up-to-date information on a company’s range of products. They respond to customer enquiries, resolve complaints, and assist in preparing registration submissions.
Technical service veterinarians have input into marketing, prepare promotional material, and give product presentations to resellers and customers.
An ability to communicate at all levels, both to the customer and to peers, is very important in this role. Usually, a degree of local and interstate travel is involved.
Industry veterinarians are also actively involved in new product development. Screening for active ingredients is usually carried out by parent companies overseas, however, additional trial work may be carried out by contract research organisations or on the company’s own research station. Veterinarians are involved in planning, running and supervising trials to demonstrate the efficiency and safety of new products. Field trials are usually required to demonstrate the efficiency of a product under Australian conditions, and additional trials may also be required to obtain residue data where the product being developed is for a food-producing animal.
Most veterinarians in the pharmaceutical industry find their career choice rewarding and find that the various sectors provide many opportunities for job satisfaction and career advancement.