The Galenica Group’s business activities have an economic, social and ecological impact throughout the entire value chain of the healthcare market. Galenica endeavours to strengthen the positive impact throughout its value chain while continuously minimising any negative effects.
The medications sold by Galenica are mostly produced by third parties, though its own pharmacies also manufacture a small proportion for their patients. The quality of the medications, as well as patients’ safety and health, are crucial. Furthermore, the manufacturing of medicines has an impact on people and the environment. Galenica ensures that its business partners meet their social and ecological responsibilities, and has therefore developed a Supplier Code of Conduct that encompasses aspects related to ethics, labour law, health, safety, quality and the environment. Producers are also regularly assessed with regard to quality.
Galenica predominantly distributes and sells pre-packaged third-party medications. An exception is the packaging of medicines manufactured by pharmacies themselves, as well as drug blister packaging by Medifilm. Medifilm is the Swiss pioneer in the customised packaging of medicines and food supplements, which it carries out on behalf of pharmacies according to the treatment plans for chronic and long-term patients. The work requires a high level of precision and the efficient use of resources (materials and energy), both of which are optimised by Medifilm through its quality and environmental management system.
Pre-wholesaler Alloga provides warehousing, logistics and distribution services on behalf of its industrial customers. The company primarily serves wholesalers, as well as pharmacies, physicians, hospitals and care homes throughout Switzerland. Galexis is the leading healthcare wholesaler in Switzerland and supplies pharmacies, medical practices, drugstores, care homes and hospitals. The company delivers over 85,000 referenced healthcare products to customers. Unione Farmaceutica Distribuzione (UFD) is the most important and only full-range healthcare logistics company in Ticino. Finally, physicians’ wholesaler Pharmapool supplies and supports medical practices with medicines, consumables, laboratory products and furnishings.
All four companies ensure that medications and healthcare products reach pharmacies, physicians and other medical institutions quickly and safely. Patient safety is also guaranteed for temperature-sensitive medications thanks to an uninterrupted cold chain. Distribution requires a large amount of fuel and emits greenhouse gases, pollutants and noise. Customer returns also create waste, while inventory management and motorised logistics entail an increased risk of accident. The companies mentioned therefore not only comply with Good Distribution Practice (GDP) guidelines, but also assure a systematic approach to safety and environmental management.
The Galenica Group markets and distributes own and partner brands via Verfora® (formerly Vifor Consumer Health) and G-Pharma. The portfolio includes brands such as Perskindol®, Anti-Brumm®, Algifor® and Merfen®. The main societal implications at this level of the value chain concern patient safety and legally compliant product promotion. For this reason, the effects and any adverse side effects of own medications on the market (pharmacovigilance), as well as the accuracy of product characteristic summaries, are continuously monitored.
HCI Solutions develops management software solutions for pharmacies, as well as tools to securely manage, communicate and distribute sensitive health and medication data. Its databases include over 200,000 products and enable healthcare providers, authorities and insurers to exchange information via a single platform. With these innovative, digital solutions, Galenica is making an important contribution to promoting a safer, more efficient healthcare sector in Switzerland. Here too, patient safety and the protection of sensitive data are critical. HCI Solutions therefore conforms to the highest security standards in software development and to the Federal Act on Data Protection.
Galenica operates Switzerland’s largest pharmacy network, with around 500 own, joint venture and partner pharmacies. These include the Amavita and Sun Store pharmacies, as well as the Coop Vitality pharmacies, which are operated under a joint venture. In addition, the company Winconcept supports independent pharmacies operating under the Feelgood’s brand. Together they serve around 100,000 customers daily, offering them a wide range of medications, toiletries and beauty products, as well as various on-site healthcare services and tests. The range of services is complemented by specialty pharmacy Mediservice, which specialises in dealing with people suffering from chronic and rare illnesses, and by Careproduct, a company focusing its operations on the provision of mobility aids such as wheelchairs as well as incontinence products for the elderly and people with a disability.
Patient safety is also given top priority in Retail, and employees’ professional competence is constantly supported to ensure this. A further aspect of sustainability is the pharmacies use of energy and waste production, for example with the return of expired and unused medicines (see “Use of medicines”) for disposal as hazardous waste in accordance with regulations.
Galenica has only a limited influence on consumer behaviour and patients’ correct use of medicines. However, all Galenica Group companies ensure that patients receive products in perfect condition along with accurate summaries of product characteristics, whether through advice in pharmacies or through package leaflets. Expired or unused medicines are an environmental and safety risk; they cannot be disposed of as conventional industrial waste. Wholesale companies (pre-wholesalers and wholesalers) and pharmacies are therefore taking back unused medications and raising customer awareness of this special form of disposal.