Our CEO, Graeme Duncan, shares his perspective on the changes the pharmaceutical industry has faced in 2020 and the trajectory of growth that ADVANZ PHARMA is pursuing into 2021 and beyond.
Reflection is a word which, at its simplest, is about careful consideration and thought. With the end of 2020 on the imminent horizon, there is no time like the present to pause from our busy schedules of back-to-back Zoom and TEAMS meetings and simply reflect.
By making the space and a conscious decision to do this, we can try to untangle what has happened in the blur of 2020 and create an opportunity for learning. Here I would like to set out my perspectives on what this year has brought for ADVANZ PHARMA, how this aligns with the goals we set ourselves as a company at the start of the year, and crucially, what we have learned which will help to set us up for success in 2021 and beyond.
Collaboration and connectivity
It goes without saying that this year has been unlike any other. In my 20+ years working in the healthcare and life sciences industry, this has certainly been the most unique and challenging. Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic has brought immense pressure to our industry, I am proud to say that at ADVANZ PHARMA, we have transitioned through this time in an incredibly resilient way, not wavering on our commitment to deliver essential medicines to those who need them. Many of our medicines are used in intensive care units around the world, whilst others treat chronic therapies that don’t go away irrespective of COVID-19, so ensuring continued supply and access has been our primary aim.
A crucial part of this sustained supply and resilience has been collaboration and connectivity with our cross-industry partner network. By keeping a close and proactive dialogue with production lines, manufacturers and shipping – as well as working around the clock – we have been able to successfully maintain the supply of critical medicines without any disruption or shortages, to those who need them most. This is despite the surge in demand and the increased pressures felt across the globe. We recognise that no single company could have provided the solution to these exceptional circumstances alone and are proud of the part we played in ensuring continued patient access.
Resilience is our biggest strength
The response of our 550+ global staff has been hugely impressive, demonstrating the nimbleness and solutions-focussed mindset that is at the heart of the work we do. From London to Mumbai, Helsingborg to Sydney and Geneva to Chicago, we have seen the huge impact Covid-19 can have on communities but the one thing that unites the team at ADVANZ PHARMA is resilience. We have certainly learnt a lot about how we communicate and locally engage with employees based on their circumstances. I’ve personally been hugely impressed with how productive, efficient and strong our teams are, regardless of their geography and remote working situation.
Beyond resilience and collaboration, a key learning from 2020 is the importance of partnerships and the need to carefully nurture these. The acquisition of Correvio Pharma and the integration of the company’s workforce back in May 2020, at the peak of the pandemic, was one critical learning curve for us. On the face of it, it couldn’t have been worse timing, to close an acquisition as the world is locking down. I am pleased to say that despite the challenges, we are already ahead of our plans to fully integrate the company with ADVANZ PHARMA. This is testament to the professional and collegiate way of working from both the Correvio Pharma team, and the existing team within ADVANZ PHARMA. I look forward to building on these achievements next year and getting more opportunities to spend the time with the teams face to face.
As a result of the acquisition, we have been able to create a new, dynamic, faster-paced culture where we are continuously challenging and reimagining our potential as a team and organisation. The injection of new, diverse talent, at all levels of the business has gone a long way in refreshing our company culture and makes us extremely proud of who we are today.
A new, adjusted lens for 2021
As we look ahead, our goals for patients and healthcare providers remains the same, as does our corporate strategy. However, this now has a renewed vigour, pace and, adjusted lens following our perspectives of, and learnings from, the pandemic and our performance throughout 2020.
We continue to have growth at the forefront of our strategy and are looking forward to launching one of our most exciting pipeline assets to-date in 2021. This will, in turn, provide us with the opportunity to focus on our complex medicines portfolio. Our long-lived established brands business unit of more than 180 molecules is still very much the foundation of our business and we are committed to continuing to provide essential access to those patients who rely on these treatments.
As such, we retain our long-term purpose and vision for the company but will need to carry some important lessons with us into the future. Not least, how to best communicate and continue to listen to the needs of every one of our valued employees, no matter where they live across the globe. I believe that now we have had some time to reflect and readjust, we are striking the right balance with colleagues around the world, which has been shown through impressive employee feedback polls, with 97% of staff saying they felt positively about our position.
2021 will be a year of growth at ADVANZ PHARMA, building upon the integral platform we have created in the past two years. There is still much to do and we have set ourselves an ambitious five-year corporate goal, of being the go to partner within the hospital market in Europe as well as the global platform of choice for established brands but we are confident we can achieve this as a united and committed team.