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Value chain

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.

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The medications sold by Galenica are mostly produced by third parties, though its own pharmacies and the Bichsel Group also manufacture individual medicines and medical devices for patients. The Bichsel Group makes high-quality products for hospitals, nursing and care homes and Spitex organisations. 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. Exceptions are the packaging of medicines manufactured by pharmacies themselves, the Bichsel Group and 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 treatment plans for chronic and long-term patients. The work requires a high level of precision and 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, including the wholesale businesses of Galexis, Unione Farmaceutica Distribuzione (UFD) and Pharmapool, as well as pharmacies, physicians, hospitals and care homes throughout Switzerland. Alloga works with around 80 pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, many of which are leading multinationals. Galexis is the leading wholesaler in the Swiss healthcare market and supplies pharmacies, medical practices, drugstores, care homes and hospitals. From its two distribution centres in Niederbipp and Lausanne-Ecublens, the company delivers over 90,000 referenced healthcare products to customers. Unione Farmaceutica Distribuzione (UFD) meanwhile, 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, drugstores 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 ensure a systematic approach to safety and environmental management.
The Galenica Group markets and distributes own and partner brands via Verfora and G-Pharma. The portfolio includes brands such as Perskindol®, Anti-Brumm®, Algifor® and Merfen®. Verfora also distributes in-licensed products from international partner companies, sometimes on an exclusive basis, such as the Vicks® products from Procter & Gamble. 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 side effects of own medications on the market (pharmacovigilance) as well as the accuracy of product characteristic summaries are continuously monitored.

HCI Solutions develops software solutions for pharmacy management as well as tools to securely handle, 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, such as the Clinical Decision Support Check (CDS Check), 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 as well as the Swiss Data Protection Act.

Galenica operates Switzerland’s largest pharmacy network, with over 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; the Bichsel Group, which focuses on home care services in the field of home dialysis and home nutrition; Curarex Swiss, which specialises in the care of patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease; and 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 a top priority for Retail. In order to ensure this, the professional competence of our employees is continuously nurtured. In addition, pharmacies require energy and produce waste, for example because of old and unused medicines being returned (see “Use of medicines”) and disposed of 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 flawless products and accurate patient information, whether through advice in pharmacies or through package leaflets. Expired or unused medicines are an environmental and safety risk, thus cannot be disposed of with conventional industrial waste. Wholesale companies, pharmacies and Medifilm therefore take back unused medications and raise customer awareness of this special form of disposal of medications. Final disposal is carried out by third parties. Medifilm, which has a licence for hazardous waste disposal, is an exception to this.

Contact

Galenica Ltd.

Untermattweg 8
3027 Bern

Tel. +41 58 852 81 11
Fax +41 58 852 81 12