“We have always worked hard to excel in the pharmaceutical business by acquiring manufacturing, sales and distribution rights to off-patent brand products from major pharmaceutical companies,” points out Lamberto Pedrotti, Managing Director and member of the Devalle-Pedrotti family, which owns 40% of the company’s shares.
Mr. Pedrotti worked as a lawyer before joining the family company in 2009. The company’s founders were all keen chemists when they set up Laboratorio Farmaceutico S.I.T. in 1930, driven by the desire to develop pharmaceutical products. Following initial development, production was the second step in expanding the small company in the 1930s.
Over the years, the company shifted its focus from development and production to the acquisition and marketing of well-established brands and off-patent products that no longer were considered the core of a manufacturer’s portfolio.
Since the 1970s, the company has helped many products start a second life cycle through brand acquisition and the takeover of formulations with listed registration dossier, including all the relevant details on a drug’s origin.
From 2000 on, Laboratorio Farmaceutico S.I.T. has bought mature products, both in Italy and abroad, which can be seen as a decisive milestone in the company’s development, as it opened the doors to the acquired products’ original markets.
“The next logical step was the opening of new subsidiaries in Spain and Germany,” says Mr. Pedrotti. “In the same year, we set up Desma Healthcare at the head of our group, which focuses on the two major objectives of acquiring well-established brands and strengthening its European network and expanding in new potential markets.”
“Desma Healthcare has been established as our reference brand, with offices in Germany and France and another representative in Chiasso, Switzerland, while all other markets are organized directly through our Italian headquarters,” says International Director Stefano Dessena, who has been working in this position since January 2015. “I was very much intrigued by the company’s portfolio and business approach. I had been working for another Big Pharma company, but following a conversation with Mr. Pedrotti about the aspects of my work as a new ‘worldwide manager’, I was definitely won over. This was the beginning of a very interesting new prospect in my working life.”
Today, Laboratorio Farmaceutico S.I.T.’s products are manufactured at the company’s two production sites in Mede near Pavia and Tavernerio near Como. Its pharmaceutical products are distributed as far as Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
“We are about to conquer the South American market. We used to be quite active there, but our business partners ceased to develop and expand our market potential. We flew in ourselves and had very constructive talks with local distributors,” says Mr. Dessena. “I think it is always important to set up close personal bonds. You cannot just sit in your office and expect everything to run smoothly, but instead you travel and see the local situation yourself.”
The company’s vast portfolio includes pharmaceuticals, nutritional supplements, medical devices and surgical medical products, covering the treatment areas breathing apparatus, disinfection, gastroenterology, vein insufficiency and neurology
“We offer solutions for various therapeutic categories. For instance, we supply Akineton, a product developed for the central nervous system, and Kalinor, which prevents and treats kidney stones,” explains Mr. Pedrotti. “Kalinor is a highly complex product which is hard to copy and reproduce – probably the most sold product worldwide, generating a turnover of 17 million EUR.”
The same is true for Akineton, which is among the company’s more than 85 pharmaceutical products. It is applied as an anti-Parkinson’s agent, which is hard to replace. “We recommend that any medical doctor should carry it, as it can even help save lives.” In addition, the portfolio boasts many OTC medications, like Centellase and Trofodermin, the latter a well-known remedy for all kinds of injuries.
In 2015, Laboratorio Farmaceutico S.I.T. ranked among the top 504 in the pharmaceutical production market. This might not be an impressive position with regard to large multinationals, but the company operates a sound international structure and strongly focuses on its international presence, an important asset in this competitive market.
“In the coming years, we aim to increase our international expansion in order to compensate for any stagnation in our home market,” says Mr. Pedrotti. “We are about to launch two new products right now for areas where there has been no medication so far. It is still very secret.”