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ITALIAN PHARMACEUTICAL EXCELLENCE, ROOTED IN TUSCANY, LOOKING TO THE WORLD
It operates in 100 countries, has an annual turnover of €3 billion and employs 16,000 people. Despite these mind-boggling figures, the Menarini pharmaceutical group has absolutely no intention of slowing down. There are new goals to aim for and dreams (not even so unrealistic) to be fulfilled - like taking the US market by storm and introducing new products to the market. We met with Domenico Simone, the group’s General Manager and asked him to also tell us what has led to Menarini’s growth in the past and in which of the foreign markets it has seen its presence strengthened over the years.
Doctor Simone, what has made the difference when it comes to the growth of the Menarini group?
Most certainly, in addition to the quality of our products and our determination, it is also a strategic vision that has lead to some important acquisitions abroad. What comes to mind, for example, is the recent acquisition of Invida. This opened up the doors to the Asia Pacific region that represents 10% of the global pharmaceutical market.
How much do Menarini’s ties with Italy influence its growth?
It’s very important. We have 14 sites in Italy, most of which are in Tuscany, the region from which the group originates.
Is there one market that you would say was a favourite?
In terms of turnover, the most important foreign market for us remains Europe, but it is a market that is on the wane. Conversely, Eastern Europe is still expanding and large profit margins from new slices of the market and the strengthening of existing business relationships still exist in developing countries.
What, for Menarini, would be the market that could represent the greatest challenge to be won in the future?
If I have to think of a challenge that is to be won in the future, given that we have already been controlling and keeping an eye on almost all parts of the world, I would have to say the United States. The American market is a difficult one and one which it is possible to break into either with a niche product (we are, for example, working on anti-tumour drugs) or with a product that is truly going to have mass appeal.
How important to your company is investment in research and development?
I would say it is vital. The area of research and development is a sector in which we invest €200 million every year and on which we focus heavily, because it truly allows us to make a difference.
On a global scale are there any competitors, say a large pharmaceutical group against which Menarini can compete.
From the point of view of products there are undoubtedly some companies with which we are capable of competing on an equal footing at an international level, while I believe that there are none capable of matching Menarini that has been a partner with Big Pharma in the joint development of products.
What does the future hold in store for the pharmaceutical group?
We are testing out some molecules for the creation of new products. This is both in the field of hypertensive drugs, in which we are strong, as well as in other sectors such as those of gastroenterology and anti-cancer drugs.
With over a century of history at its shoulders (it all began in 1886 at a small laboratory of the International Pharmacy in Naples that a little while later moved to Florence, in Tuscany, that was become the firm’s historical headquarters), Menarini is certainly not afraid of taking on new challenges, which it quickly manages to transform into excellent opportunities for growth and new business. It is the leading Italian pharmaceutical group both in Europe and around the world and has aspirations of maintaining this position for a long time to come, strengthening its own standing and perhaps even attempting to exceed even its wildest expectations someday.