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Ricardo Vian Marques, General Manager, Galenika a.d. Beograd

Future-Orientated Company

Over the course of 2020, Galenika continued its trend from the previous year by growing faster than the market, more than 50% faster. It also additionally strengthened its stable second place in terms of its share of Serbia’s pharmaceutical market

Galenika is working on the transfer of technology for several products from the new generation of generic drugs, with 22 new products currently in the registration process. Galenika is also proud of the innovative communications campaigns that it launched last year.

Since the privatisation of Galenika, you have managed to return the company to an exceptional 2nd place in terms of market share. What does Galenika’s future look like?

Galenika has undergone a process of transformation to a future-orientated, mission-led pharmaceutical company with an innovative mindset. This change that occurred during the previous period is visible internally, through increased motivation and teamwork, while externally it has had a positive impact on the company’s image. You are right that the market position is a big milestone for us, but we are not stopping there. We have ambitious plans and want to see continual progress, with Galenika growing even bigger.

The pandemic is entering its second year, with no end in sight. What was your biggest business challenge last year? What are your expectations moving forward?

The safety of employees and maintaining a stable supply of products to consumers and medical institutions were the biggest challenges last year, and I’m happy to say that we overcame them successfully.

The Galenika team has shown efficiency, innovation and dedication.

The pandemic has changed everything, everywhere, not only in this region or the pharma industry. I’m sure that this year will bring its own challenges, but I know that we will do our best in what we do best, and that is being guardians of health by bringing positive changes to our industry and the market. We are strategically focused on innovating the company and its portfolio for the benefit of consumers and partners among doctors, pharmacies and institutions.

We have ambitious plans and want to see ongoing progress with Galenika growing even bigger

Situations like this force us to reconsider our priorities. What is your number one priority? Is it people, employees, partners, patients, doctors and pharmacists, or profit and market share?

Definitely people – our employees are, of course, our number one priority. Our people represent the firm and solid foundation for everything we do, before, during and after the pandemic.

We are also committed to, and value, our external partnerships with all stakeholders. That’s why, for example, we went to great lengths to strengthen them and provide them with timely support last year, including assistance to medical workers and donations to the Serbian healthcare system.

One of our priorities relates to the ongoing process of corporate transformation and innovations. All of these together had positive results in terms of our market position and image. Our success is a result of multiple factors, including a clear vision, good strategic decisions and operational engagement.

Many industries are going through their most difficult days, but not the pharmaceutical industry. Galenika has proved its strength and confirmed its position. Do the numbers reflect that?

Last year was challenging for all industries, and pharma was no exception. It took a lot of extraordinary teamwork and effort, but in 2020 we recorded growth in all business segments. The company increased its sales on the Serbian market by 19% compared to 2019.

We are in the process of opening six new export markets, while Galenika already has an active presence on 10 markets in the EU, the Middle East and Africa, where it increased its sales by 68% in 2020. This is an excellent result, given last year’s circumstances.

Galenika factory

Four new products are expected to be launched on the market in the first half of 2021. Galenika’s Institute for Research and Development is in the final phase of developing two new products, while in our strategic partnership with our sister company from Brazil – EMS, we are working on the transfer of technology for several products from the new generation of generic drugs.

We marked the past year by generating positive values through the maintaining of traditional trust and quality, as well as the further modernisation of the company. Despite the adversities, opportunities for innovations are possible in many spheres, and at Galenika we have a high level of awareness and the courage to embrace them.

Our success is a result of multiple factors, including a clear vision, good strategic decisions and operational engagement

Is this the right time to expand your portfolio and develop new products? Has the pandemic, as a global threat, led to better cooperation between companies, at least when it comes to the production of medicines to treat the novel coronavirus?

I believe that the major influence of the pandemic is seen in two very important life and business lessons. First is the solidarity that has become more prominent, both individual and corporate, because we are all connected and we need to understand and practise the true meaning of cooperation and support. The second lesson relates to innovation, because times of adversity also represent times to step up.

Although the production of medicines is your basic and most important activity, you are also very committed to prevention and health. What are you doing in that area?

Galenika is more dynamic and vibrant than ever before. As a result of our futureorientation, the topic of prevention has risen significantly on our agenda. It is also an innovation that proves our mission. A special, sustainable, socially responsible project of national importance is our online platform, “Hello Twenties” (www. dvadesete.rs), which aims to educate young people on healthy living habits. This is a unique platform and initiative that we are very proud of, and we hope to create a community of young people who have a high awareness of mental and physical health. For that purpose we have created a network of doctors and experts who are our allies in this important, long-term mission.

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