After a year of growth and acquisitions, 125-year-old German generics manufacturer STADA is showing a willingness to make bold bets on areas including consumer healthcare, medical cannabis, and research into public opinion on healthcare


STADA, based in Bad Vilbel, focuses on a two-pillar strategy consisting of generics, including specialty pharmaceuticals and non-prescription consumer healthcare products, and sells products in approximately 120 countries.


In October of last year, the company announced an exclusive supply agreement with MediPharm Labs, a global manufacturer of cannabis API and derivative products, to provide medical cannabis products for the European pharma sector.


Under the terms of the partnership, STADA will be responsible for commercializing the cannabis products as well as marketing and medical education. According to the company, the move will allow them to “meet the growing demand of the medical cannabis market, beginning in Germany; an estimated EUR 1.5 billion market by 2025.” The partnership makes sense not only because of the company’s German roots, but also because, with over 83 million people, Germany currently represents an estimated three-quarters of the current EU medical cannabis market.


The cannabis partnership followed a EUR 300 million acquisition of 15 consumer healthcare products from GlaxoSmithKline in February of 2020, a move that was in line with CEO Peter Goldschmidt’s assertion in 2019 that the company would “focus mainly on striking production and development deals with partners, rather than buying companies outright.”


The GSK deal was announced at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis but was followed by a strong performance after STADA announced that it achieved 16 percent growth in the first half of 2020 with EUR 1.47 billion in sales. “Our above-market sales and earnings increase in the first half of 2020 reflects the consistent implementation of our One STADA for Growth strategy… Our Purpose and Values are creating a strong corporate culture that underpins our future success… recent employee surveys found nine out of ten employees are proud to work for STADA and are confident that the company will emerge strongly from the coronavirus crisis as One STADA,” said CEO Goldschmidt.


The company invests not only in pharmaceuticals and new therapies, but also in public opinion research that provides insight into the future of European healthcare.


According to its Health Report 2020, developed alongside research agency Kantar, around 74 percent of Europeans are satisfied with their healthcare system, 66 percent of them are concerned about antibiotic-resistant germs, 30 percent categorically never talk about sex, and 94 percent of Spanish people are in favor of compulsory vaccinations.


The report is revealing, showing that overall trust in the digitization of medicine is increasing all over Europe, with 40 percent saying that they would use a health app that transmits all relevant data directly to their doctor, even though Germans, the British and Belgians are rather skeptical.