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Mr Maurizio Luongo (far left), Chief Executive Officer and Mr Glen Godresse (center), Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Commercial Excellence of Menarini Asia-Pacific receive the award for Executive of the Year - Pharmaceuticals and Team of the Year - Pharmaceuticals respectively at the SBR Management Excellence Awards 2022.

How Menarini Asia Pacific achieves organisational excellence, harnesses agile go-to market approaches

CEO Maurizio Luongo highlights the expansion of the company’s omni-channel distribution strategy beyond traditional pharmaceuticals channels.

Menarini Asia Pacific prides itself in its robust R&D and manufacturing prowess, having a direct presence in over 13 markets with over 3,500 employees. Striving to be a leading provider that invigorates lives, the company operates across the entire commercial value chain with a diverse portfolio of proprietary and partnered brands from across industries.

Its recent successes would not have been possible without the expertise and leadership of its current CEO Maurizio Luongo. Since joining the group in 2010, Luongo has significantly grown Menarini’s operations and consumer health business. 

In his capabilities as CEO, Luongo has leveraged the company’s deep European roots to deliver innovative healthcare offerings to the region, with a number of significant partnership and licensing deals secured. He is also responsible for driving the distribution expansion of Menarini’s portfolio in the region.

Within a year of being appointed CEO, he led the company to achieve an unprecedented 13% increase in EBITDA from 2020 to 2021.

Luongo’s innovative spirit continues to drive Menarini’s transformation as a global biopharmaceutical company, expanding distribution strategies beyond traditional pharmaceutical channels to e-commerce platforms. He does this by consistently placing emphasis on collective team vision to drive innovative business pursuits and strategic partnerships.

“This gives us agility and enables our country teams to harness synergies and deliver customised go-to market models to our partners,” he said.

In addition to bolstering the region’s distribution platforms and its omni-channel strategy, Luongo is also overseeing the expansion of manufacturing facilities in Southeast Asia to meet growing future demand and to offer more capabilities in the region for the company’s partners. 

For him, commercialisation partnerships help the industry to address unmet needs in burgeoning healthcare challenges such as rising cardiovascular disease, an ageing population and increasing antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

“Our partners are attracted by Menarini’s strong in-market commercial teams, established distribution network and manufacturing capabilities that we have in place. These capabilities ensure faster and easier access to medicine for patients in Asia, helping to manage health conditions that are underserved,” he said.

Through his leadership, Menarini Asia Pacific recently entered into a strategic collaboration with SciClone Pharmaceuticals to bring to patients in China a novel treatment that was originally discovered and developed in the USA.

“Menarini places great importance on selecting partners who demonstrate scientific innovation and understand the urgency of commercialising novel anti-infective medicines to combat growing rates of antibiotic resistance,” Luongo said.

The company has also committed in the fight against AMR, wherein it, along with more than 20 other leading biopharmaceutical companies and charitable organisations, invested over US$1b with the goal of developing two to four new anti-infectives for patients by 2030.

The CEO believes that this unique platform enables Menarini Asia Pacific to work with strategic and innovative partners to facilitate the necessary policy reforms in making antibiotics more accessible and in allowing collaboration with governments to develop a sustainable pipeline of new antibiotics.

The future of pharmaceuticals 

Luongo observes that the industry is now seeing the rising production costs of active pharmaceutical ingredients largely due to supply chain disruption caused by COVID-19 and the energy crisis.

Recognising that inflationary pressure is going to persist will require organisations to be grounded and not take knee-jerk reactions to push up product prices. For him, ensuring unhindered access to medicines in the region is crucial in today’s context.

He believes that digitalisation and the use of technology is helping to ensure that companies continue to be agile and responsive to evolving market and patient needs.

Rather than focussing on a specific distribution channel for each product, Menarini Asia Pacific is working to offer more products online, as well as partnering with regulatory agencies to reclassify some prescription-only medicines to make them available over-the-counter.

“Our strong presence, established reputation, and breadth of experience in the region together with our long-term vision and commitment to ensuring patient access to high-quality high-value medicines can ultimately reduce the costs of ill-health and hospital admission,” Luongo said.

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