In what is a highly competitive and crowded women’s health field in Spain, smaller players are having to be increasingly focused and specialised to carve out a market share.
The [Spanish women’s health] market is very competitive since there are many companies and the sector is overwhelmingly a business of midcaps.
One such player is Lab Seid, a family-owned pharmaceutical company based in Barcelona specialising in branded out of patent products in the field of women’s health. Since taking over his family firm as general manager in 2011, General Manager Joaquín Vilá has overseen remarkable success; increasing the company’s employees from 45 by 50 percent and taking revenues from EUR 7 million to EUR 13 million.
However, this turnaround has not been easy. As Vilá explains, “The market is very competitive since there are many companies and the sector is overwhelmingly a business of midcaps. The largest player in Spain is the Italfarmaco group, a family-owned Italian company with a EUR 500 million turnover generated mostly across Spain and Italy. They lead in the field of gynaecology. There are also some major multinational players, but these are mainly in the fertility sector rather than gynaecology, such as Merck, MSD, Ferring.”
Vilá continues, “We have some fertility products but limited to the food supplement sector. We do not have pharmaceutical products in this sector, given the challenges in competing with these three-dimensional international companies. The IVF business is in the hands of 3-4 companies possessing very innovative and expensive products which require large amounts of clinical data and clinical trials. Consequently, the barriers of entry are extremely high.”
To overcome these barriers Seid has had to become increasingly specialised. As Vilá explains, “We have a clear strategy and focus singly on the women’s health sector. In contrast, the competitors may spread themselves across 4-5 different therapeutic areas. We have a salesforce of 27, plus two area managers in Spain, focused solely on women’s health. We have one of the top five salesforces in Spain for gynaecology. This makes us able to be as competitive as larger companies in this sector. We are experts in what we do and can thus do more with less.”
In terms of the prospects of continued future growth, Vilá is bullish, stating that, “Within the areas that we touch, our expectations are to be within the top three in terms of sales and, in some cases, the market leader.” He adds, “We want to consolidate our market position in the areas where we are not yet leading. We still have a lot of room for growth in gynaecology. We could also diversify our offering somewhat. At the moment we are very doctor driven in the sense that our key prescriber of the products is the doctor. However, there are 22,000 pharmacies in Spain and a significant market for women’s health exists solely in the pharmacy.”