EXCLUSIVE BORMIOLI PHARMA INTERVIEW

Since he joined as CEO in 2018, Bormioli Pharma has made good use of Andrea Lodetti’s 25 years of cross-industry experience. Having already taken great strides to achieving ambitious sustainability goals, Mr Lodetti illustrated his broad approach to responsible company management in an exclusive Glass Worldwide interview. The full version of this article appears in the July/August 2022 issue that has been mailed globally and is also now available free of charge in the digital archive*.

EXCLUSIVE BORMIOLI PHARMA INTERVIEW

GW: How is Bormioli Pharma differentiating itself in the field of pharmaceutical packaging?

Bormioli Pharma produces primary packaging for pharmaceutical use in glass and plastics, along with a wide range of accessories – such as closures, seals and stoppers. Our offer width is one of our differentiating elements, making us the one-stop shop for the pharma industry, along with a focus on innovation and sustainability, thus ensuring the maximum quality required by our clients.

Innovation is a key element in our differentiation strategy. At Bormioli Pharma, it means developing new packaging solutions together with the client, enabling the establishment of concrete win-win partnerships. On one hand, indeed, the client can trust in 100% tailor-made solutions; on the other hand the packaging manufacturer can count on a product that could be scaled to different formats and sizes, and proposed as an already-industrialised solution to the industry.

 

GW: Having doubled the use of sustainable raw materials in production last year compared to 2020, what are the key corporate goals?

Bormioli Pharma’s corporate goals are to boost growth by increasing the company’s penetration into the parenteral [input of drugs or medications into the human body without involving the digestive system – typically injected directly] drugs packaging segment, together with the consolidation of the presence in the oral drugs market and the increasing adoption of sustainable options by the pharmaceutical industry. This represents a key commitment for the industry, as we set the target to use 50% of sustainable raw materials in production by 2025, with the recent launch of the EcoPositive label gathering all the packaging solutions featuring a more responsible environmental impact.

We are also actively investigating and working on the creation of a distributed innovation model that is open to contributions from start-ups and incubators and an even stronger focus on end users, thus establishing a link between the pharmaceutical industry and packaging manufacturers. More generally, we are proposing a brand-new approach to pharmaceutical manufacturers that we call ‘co-responsibility’, that is in our opinion key to better serving patients and health professionals, and to advancing quality, efficiency and resilience in pharma operations.

 

GW: How has Bormioli Pharma performed in recent times?

In 2021, the company produced more than seven billion pieces overall, and reported annual sales of approximately 260 million euros. Just to give you an idea of our glass production, we produce about 1.8 billion pieces per year in our Bergantino plant, while in our German district annual production amounts to more than 200 million pieces.

 

GW: What reach does the company have in terms of manufacturing?

Bormioli Pharma features a production platform across Europe, with 10 plants in three countries – Italy, Germany and France – specialising in the production of primary packaging for pharmaceutical uses and accessories. Our glass production sites are located in North-Eastern Italy (Bergantino, San Vito al Tagliamento), constituting one of the biggest European districts for moulded glass container production. Our glass offering also features industrial excellence [centres] in Germany, with plants in Bad Königshofen and Altenfeld specialising in tubular glass vials.

Bormioli Pharma also has a consistent platform for plastic container production, including plants in Castelguelfo, Rivanazzano (Italy), Hinternah (Germany) and Saint-Sulpice (France), with the latter featuring consistent production of more environmentally-responsible solutions. Finally, Bormioli Pharma has plants specialising in closures and seals, like the recently acquired one in Vasto, Italy, and in high-precision dosage systems, such as the facility in Pavia (Italy).

 

GW: What are the latest highlights of investment at the different plants?

The focus has been on the expansion of our parenteral products range that in the last few years has proved an essential business for the industry, both for vaccine production and to ensure the continuity of therapeutic treatments. That’s why we invested a lot in the expansion of our production capacity in tubular glass vials, and to complete our offer with a wide closure and seals range.

Moreover, the company strengthened its presence on oral drops for the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industry, thanks to a diligent expansion in accessories and high-precision dosage systems.

Additionally, Bormioli Pharma has carried out a general enhancement of its production capacity in its glass manufacturing sites, in order to ensure business continuity and to guarantee deliveries in any operating condition.

 

GW: How important is adopting the latest manufacturing technology to achieving the company’s goals?

Investing in the latest manufacturing technologies is key to ensuring the highest quality products, combined with processes standardisation and repeatability, two elements highly required by the pharma industry. Last but not least, it is a way to ensure a more responsible production, thanks to more efficient manufacturing processes.

 

GW: How is Bormioli Pharma investing in the workforce?

Bormioli Pharma currently employs more than 1,400 employees and invests considerably in its human resources, with about 9,000 hours of training split between HSE topics – beyond any industry standard – and technical specialisation, also relying on satisfaction survey initiatives to allocate training programmes properly throughout the company. We value our people and support their long-term success by seeking opportunities for them to grow and develop professionally and personally. This reinforces strong succession and ensures we maintain an engaged workforce.

 

GW: In your opinion, what are the long-term prospects for glass as a pharmaceutical packaging material and what are the key factors in securing increased market share? 

Glass has been used as a pharma packaging material since the beginning of twentieth century, thanks to its physical and mechanical performances, and I do not truly believe it could be easily replaced in the future. The recent experience of 2020, when glass production went into global shortage due to the Covid-19 pandemic spreading, is an example we do not have to forget.

That said, this does not mean that glass manufacturing processes will remain the same, with innovation efforts to make its performance better in terms of chemical and mechanical resistance, and to make its manufacturing – currently energy-intensive – more environmentally responsible.

 

GW: What was the motivation for Bormioli Pharma to recently join Glass Futures?

Bormioli Pharma decided to join Glass Futures to provide a more sustainable option to a market need, while ensuring the same performances and quality of ‘traditional’ glass. Thanks to the partnership signed with the UK-based NGO, Bormioli Pharma will be involved in industrial research into new low-emission methods for glass production, giving the company privileged access and strengthening Bormioli Pharma’s standing as a player acting concretely to reduce the impact of the industry on the environment.

 

GW: To summarise, what are your hopes and expectations for Bormioli Pharma in the short, medium and long term future? 

We are focusing on priorities such as the strengthening of the core business and the constant improvement of the service. That said, even though we are mostly focusing on organic growth, we are evaluating the possibility of continuing to grow externally, with possible new acquisitions that might take place in the future.

 
Image: Andrea Lodetti and the Bormioli Pharma plant in Bergantino.

Further Information: 

Bormioli Pharma S.p.A, Parma, Italy
tel: +39 0521 362620
email: info@bormiolipharma.com
web: www.bormiolipharma.com


* The full version of this article appears in the July/August issue that has been mailed globally. The digital version of this issue can also currently be read free of charge in its entirety alongside back copies in the Digital Archive (sponsored by FIC) at https://www.glassworldwide.co.uk/Digital-Issues. To receive the paper copy, all future issues and a free copy of the new Who’s Who / Annual Review 2022-23 yearbook, subscribe now at https://www.glassworldwide.co.uk/subscription-choice

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