Member Spotlight / News - February 28, 2022

EUCOPE Member Spotlight: Q&A with Norgine

Every month, EUCOPE spotlights a member company and the great work they’re doing to drive healthcare innovation in Europe to serve patients better. In February, we spoke with Peter Martin, Director of Norgine BV.

Peter Martin has worked in the pharmaceutical industry in Europe and the US for the past 38 years in a variety of sales, research and development and senior marketing and general management roles. He held a number of senior positions at Schering-Plough including UK General Manager and Vice President of Marketing at Schering’s US operations. He later went on to become Director of Operations Northern Europe for the Italian pharmaceutical company Menarini International before joining Norgine as its Chief Operating Officer in 2004. 

Tell us about your organisation, its mission, and how you drive innovation internally.

Norgine is a leading European specialist pharmaceutical company that has been bringing transformative medicines to patients for over a century. Our commitment to transforming people’s lives drives everything we do, and our European experience, fully integrated infrastructure and exceptional partnership approach enable us to quickly apply creative solutions to bring life-changing medicines to patients that they may not otherwise be able to access. Norgine is proud to be able to help over 24 million patients worldwide every year. We have a history of rapid growth year on year, with 2021 showing a growth of 10% over 2020, enabling us to help more patients and invest in medicines for the future.

Norgine has a direct presence in 16 European countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand. We also have a strong global network of partnerships in non-Norgine markets. In addition to our sales and marketing infrastructure, we are a flexible and fully integrated pharmaceutical business, with manufacturing (Hengoed, Wales and Dreux, France), third-party supply networks and significant product development capabilities. This enables us to acquire, develop and commercialise specialist and innovative products that make a real difference to the lives of patients around the world.

Our flexible and positive mindset enables us to move rapidly and decisively and drive innovation internally and externally using our understanding of patients alongside our innovative culture.

We are highly entrepreneurial, challenge the status quo and our flexibility enables us to adapt to the changing health landscape. For example, we were the first company in central Europe to manufacture bovine insulin in the 1920’s for type 1 diabetes, which at that time was a death sentence for a child. We were one of the first companies to develop a structured partnership offering. We were one of the first pharmaceutical companies to produce a patient chatbot (for colonoscopy) and one of the first companies to introduce flexible working for working women.

How do your organisation’s activities help patients now and into the future?

Norgine has been transforming patient lives for over 100 years and we are proud to be able to help 22 million patients around the world every year. Our ambition is to sustainably grow our patient-inspired brands and global partnerships to meet the needs of more patients and healthcare professionals. Our agile European infrastructure, integrated business model, and exceptional partnership approach enable us to quickly apply creative solutions to bring life-changing medicines to patients that they may not otherwise be able to access.

Our European heritage drives our culture and approach – we have a strong global brand, but our strong historical and cultural understanding of different European countries means we can tailor that to local needs. We have a deep understanding of and empathy with our patients and their needs. For example, we are innovating for our patients in digital – i.e. our hepatic encephalopathy app, and our bowel preparation chatbot.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the life sciences industry today?

In Europe and elsewhere it’s critical that barriers to patients receiving the best medicines possible don’t result in undesirable outcomes. So regulation surrounding research and development of new health interventions like medicines and devices need to be well-integrated, appropriate, and flexible. Similarly, health technology assessments (HTAs) and pricing regimes need to encourage innovation and market access, and strong incentives to tackle ultra-orphan and orphan diseases need to be in place.

What attracted you to join EUCOPE and how can we help you achieve your business goals?

We believe that EUCOPE’s mission to facilitate trusted relationships with established stakeholders at the EU and national levels and giving greater voice to companies regardless of their size is very important to enabling innovation and the creation of synergies for the benefit of patients.

We need more innovative products to come through to patients in a timely manner; it is important to work together to facilitate simpler, more transparent ways for companies of all sizes to bring forward safe, and affordable medicines with added value for the patient and the healthcare system more quickly.

What are the major health policy issues and themes that you are most focused on in 2022?

Several new medicines authorised by the regulators fail to be reimbursed because they will not meet the requirements of the HTA bodies. As Norgine brings new medicines to the market through a growing pipeline, meeting the requirements of the HTA body and supporting the value of the medicine, i.e. its clinical and economic value for the healthcare system with the right data, becomes even more paramount.

The goal is to enable development plans, especially for companies of small-medium size, which may face additional challenges and have different needs. There is a clear need to improve patient access and reduce delays between a medicine’s marketing authorisation and decisions on reimbursement. Since regulators and HTA bodies play an equally important role in patient access, the goal is to promote synergies and ways of working to continuously optimise the framework and navigate through the rapidly evolving environment.


For more information about EUCOPE membership

Contact our Business Development Manager Dante Di Iulio