Andrew Corrieri of Pharmaconsulta in Malta outlines his consultancy’s comprehensive service offering, the opportunities inherent in the Maltese life sciences industry and his plans for the future.
By overseeing the entire spectrum of regulatory affairs, we are able to act more efficiently and prevent any hiccups or delays that may come from using separate service providers
As well as its core offering of regulatory consultancy services, Pharmaconsulta also offers contract manufacturing, laboratory analysis and a wide range of other complementary services to its clients. What was the rationale behind developing such services to your clients? How has your client base evolved?
We aim to offer a comprehensive service to our clients. By overseeing the entire spectrum of regulatory affairs, we are able to act more efficiently and prevent any hiccups or delays that may come from using separate service providers.
This approach has proven popular and our client base is expanding rather exponentially through recommendation alone.
Your main line of business is to provide regulatory services in Malta and help your clients file their dossiers. What are the key issues in terms of regulation that your clients are coming to you with? On the other hand, in what areas do you see the next opportunities for companies in Malta?
The key issues in terms of regulation normally stem from a poor quality system, missing or incomplete standard operating procedures, or incomplete training on the procedures themselves. We believe that having a comprehensive set of procedures in place, which all relevant staff are familiar with, is the key to regulatory compliance.
The recent developments in medicinal cannabis open a wide range of opportunities for Maltese companies, both new and existing. Naturally, due to the nature of the substance, strictly enforced regulations will need to be in place.
Malta’s pharmaceutical industry built its name on the island’s wide-ranging embrace of the Bolar provision; allowing companies to do R&D work and produce generic drugs in advance of patent expiry and offer first-to-market opportunities to customers worldwide. Given your extensive experience in the Maltese pharmaceutical market, to what extent does that still stand as the primary reason for manufacturing in Malta? How is Pharmaconsulta positioning itself as the regulatory consultant of choice for this industry?
Being first to market is an obvious business advantage. Especially with the vast competition around, any tactical advantage small or big should be considered in the business model. The Bolar provision is not spoken about much for obvious reasons. As a matter of fact the first to market advantage has been a cash cow for a number of companies.
Pharmaconsulta has been offering scientific advice and produced official patent searches for various clients.
Why should international pharmaceutical companies continue to invest in Malta? In the same way, what is the potential of Maltese companies to internationalize their operations?
Malta is the prime choice for international pharmaceutical companies for a number of reasons. Malta enjoys a high level of education which means that factories and companies can source employees locally. Furthermore, having English as an official language is another great strength.
Malta’s central geographic location is a boon to our logistics potential, in that it is reasonably cost-effective to import and export everything from APIs to finished products for re-sale and/or re-labelling locally.
Now that the UK will soon decide on the outline of Brexit, what challenges and opportunities does it offer to Malta?
The shadow of Brexit has opened a number of opportunities and pushed a number of companies towards Malta. After all, our aforementioned mastery of the English language and our EU membership makes Malta a viable alternative to the UK.
As you founded the company in 2009, the company will soon celebrate its 10-year anniversary. Over recent years, what have been your main achievements?
Our company has grown considerably in the past decade. We pride ourselves in a stellar success rate in acquiring and renewing licences and in keeping up-to-date with current and upcoming legislation.
What are the objectives that you have set for the upcoming five years?
Our plans are for further expansion especially in the new emerging sectors of the market, whilst at the same time keeping au courant of current market trends and forthcoming new legislation in order to place ourselves at the top level of the regulatory chain to be able to continue to meet and exceed client expectations.