DS Healthcare Iberia, a European Distributor, launched recently as a marquee exhibitor at INFARMA Madrid 2016, unveiling their flagship brand, DS Laboratories. With over 25,000 visitors INFARMA is one of the largest annual European congresses for the pharmaceutical sector and brought two events of great interest to participants: the European Meeting of Pharmacies, in which speakers from various European countries addressed the industry; and the Hall of Drugs and Pharmaceuticals, where exhibitors from different sectors (manufacturers, wholesalers/distributors, laboratories, institutions, NGOs, media) present their products, research and innovation.
During the INFARMA trade show and congress DS Laboratories received written commitment from over 100 pharmacies to carry their entire line of hair, skin and personal care. The exhibition also garnered major media interest for the brand, including a television interview with country manager, Luis Adell, on Antenna 3, the most-watched broadcast network in Spain.
The Spain-based distributor, DS Healthcare Iberia, is managed by Luis Adell and will oversee expansion and market penetration throughout continental Europe. As Country Manager, Adell, a former Pharmacist by trade and ex-marketing executive with FILORGA and Boehringer Ingelheim, is uniquely capable of building long-term sustainable revenues in Europe. With over 25 years of expertise in the Spanish pharmaceutical market, along with a proven track record in generating business in the medical, OTC and dermocosmetic field, Adell will be able to position the highly-sought after DS Laboratories brand as a strong competitor against current market leaders. Adell's expertise in business development in all promotional and distribution channels, combined with his deep network of doctors, wholesalers and pharmacies, will enable the DS Laboratories brand to quickly grow sales in the 500m-person common EU market.
The new DS Healthcare Spanish partnership is the first step of an ambitious plan to expand the DS Laboratories brand throughout Europe: concurrent with Spain will be launches in Portugal and Italy. The current infrastructure includes marketing, sales, logistics, and management staff and the integration will create multiple new channels of business.
"The launching of DS Healthcare Iberia is an excellent opportunity to build new business in Spain as a first step for rollout across Europe. The Spanish dermocosmetic market historically is one of the continent's strongest, exceptionally so relative to its population. It has a very dynamic trend in terms of novelties, competition and innovation acceptance. It's a perfect place to be not only present, but to be a category leader," stated Adell. "We have an excellent pharmacy network and our alliance of dermatologists is widely recognized and trusted by the Spanish public for their advocacy of science-backed solutions. Spain is the ideal country to release DS Laboratories' exciting line-up of transformative hair, skin and personal care products," continued Adell.
The new distributor partnership is already operative with a high-touch marketing and sales team familiar with local market conditions in Spain, Portugal and Italy alike. A trained sales force has been deployed nationwide in Spain covering both medical (dermatologist) and retail pharmacy channels; 2,000 of the former and 1,200 of the latter are currently visited each month as part of the planned launch.
DS Laboratories products recently obtained all EU registrations (CPNP) and, locally, the Codigo Nacional (CN), a quality endorsement by the Spanish Health Ministry. Consequently, all products are now accepted in the National Health System and in the Official Pharmacy Network System (www.portalfarma.com), allowing consumers to safely and reliably purchase DS Laboratories products in over 21,000 pharmacies. As a result of the coveted CN designation, wholesalers are now able to supply DS Laboratories dermocosmetics in less than 24 hours upon a single customer request, equally to those retail locations which regularly stock the products as well as to those which do not.
DS Laboratories products are now listed with Spain's leading five wholesalers—responsible for 60%+ of total national market share—guaranteeing nationwide distribution: Alliance Healthcare (owned by Walgreens Boots Alliance); COFARES; HEFAME; and FedeFarma.
In Portugal, distribution deals have been secured with Wells (owned by SONAE)—that country's most important retailer, with over 160 doors nationwide.
In Italy, an initial distribution deal is in place with independent Italian pharmacy chains. This deal is expected to open over 500 doors in 2016 in that market.