Interview: Mario Maderia – General Manager, Teva Portugal

Mario Madeira, general manager of Teva Portugal, highlights the milestones of the affiliate in Portugal, referencing the economic crisis and where Teva is now positioned in the country. In addition, he comments on Portugal’s great potential for digitalizing its healthcare sector.

What are Teva Portugal’s priorities for 2018?

“Teva is recognized by the Portuguese government as an ideal partner in this area, as we offer the right balance between accessibility and innovation. Therefore, we have been cooperating very closely with health authorities in Portugal to deliver our promise and we will continue to do so.”

Our focus for 2018 is to consolidate our position in the pharmaceutical sector, as well as maintaining our prime position as the leaders in the generic market both in hospitals and the consumer market. In addition, we aim to prioritize our respiratory business through the launches of our Monoclonal antibody, which fights against human interleukin-5 (IL-5). Furthermore, we will strive to present innovative solutions for cystic fibrosis, increasing Teva’s relevance in this therapeutic area for the benefit of all stakeholders and patients alike. Finally, we aim to accelerate the digital transformation of the business by optimizing our internal process and the ways in which we interact with the key stakeholders

What have been the main milestones and achievements of the affiliate?

One of our main achievements took place in 2012 with the success of our generics business, and all of us at Teva are extremely proud of this. At that time, significant price reductions on Generics were implemented whilst simultaneously acquiring Ratiopharm and Cephalon. The team was under pressure to reinvent the company, now with three different generic cultures, models and ideas. However, we succeeded in reshaping the company to create the Teva Group, evolving into a new innovative model, enabling the company to relaunch a new brand and strategic approach. Also, the launch of our Respiratory franchise in 2014, has represented an important milestone, enabling Teva to diversify and grow its business. After 2015, there were no major acquisitions for Teva in Portugal, unless we look worldwide Actavis acquisition in 2016.

With these integrations, TEVA in Portugal started a new cycle, which allowed the consolidation of our leadership in the generic medicines market. Teva was also able to diversify its innovation, advancing to an organizational structure that benefited from these different cultures, where the competences of the people who took part in this new stage were placed at the center.


What are the main aims of Teva and its approach in the pharmaceutical market?

We are committed to providing innovation and high-quality medicines, bringing these to the forefront of patient care worldwide. Our combination of both innovation and generic medicines is driving our success, as we have one of the largest portfolios in the world, with 1800 molecules, in addition to the hybrid model that characterizes us.

Overall, our generics focus represents approximately 80 percent of Teva’s total sales. We strive to uphold the marketing dynamics currently experienced in Portugal, both in the consumer and hospital markets, where HIV and Oncology medicines are the main drivers of our sales. Therefore, we are increasing the relevance for our customers through the high costs of these therapeutics at affordable prices.

Moving onto the side of innovation, there are two main areas; Neuroscience and Respiratory. The first one is the most strategic one for Teva, thus we have increased R&D investment in this area in recent years. We are also recognized worldwide for innovative solutions for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis, whilst more recently we have shown a particular interest to topics such as migraines and Huntington disease.

What are the challenges and opportunities of operating within the Portuguese healthcare system?

We strongly believe that Teva occupies a very singular position in the Portuguese pharmaceutical market due to its unique Hibrid Model. The generics strategy paves the way for access to affordable medicines for healthcare professionals and patients, simultaneously allowing Teva to launch innovative therapies. Teva is recognized by the Portuguese government as an ideal partner in this area, as we offer the right balance between accessibility and innovation. Therefore, we have been cooperating very closely with health authorities in Portugal to deliver our promise and we will continue to do so.

With a strong Iberian strategy, we implemented a clear and long-term strategy for respiratory medicines. Following the launch of this respiratory franchise, we now have a solid footprint in this area. At the beginning of 2014, we launched several products and we now have a very interesting portfolio. Having created this franchise from zero, we are now recognized as a key player in this area.

Moreover, the launches of three products in asthma/COPD and cystic fibrosis shows how Teva brings to the forefront of the healthcare sector innovative solutions, such as inhalers, that increases therapeutic adherence, at more affordable costs. Another example is our monoclonal antibody, which is expected to be available for patients with severe eosinophilic asthma later in 2018. In parallel, Teva generates huge contributions for controlling the expenses of medicines, mainly in Hospital Oncology and HIV therapeutics that are among the biggest expense for the government.

What is the importance of the Portuguese affiliate for Teva’s global operations?

When considering the Portuguese market size, which is considerably smaller than other European countries, we believe that our contribution is highly important. This belief extends from recent data published by hmR (Health Market Research) that places Teva in third position in value and second in volume in total pharma retail market. In addition, Teva has 20 percent market share in the generics considering retail market, meaning that one out of five generic units consumed by patients in Portugal are from Teva.

What is the strategic role that Portugal can play within the increasingly competitive global life sciences landscape?

The fact that we have in Portugal a single and universal health care system, the National Health Service, gives us the opportunity to experiment and adapt to new models, mainly through new technologies. Portugal can lead the digital transformation in healthcare processes, not only increasing our level of competitiveness in life sciences, but more importantly pioneering in generating real efficiencies for procedures.


Furthermore, Portugal plays an important role as a “test bed” for innovative. These practices and solutions can optimize processes and are an excellent starting point for companies to export internationally. A good example of this strategy is the implementation of electronic prescriptions, fully dematerializing the process from physicians to pharmacies. In addition, the countries size, geographic location and high level of qualifications are important elements for companies to choose Portugal as an incubator for transformation of several processes that can bring more efficiencies to the healthcare system.

Finally, what would you say is your leadership style at Teva Portugal?

I would say the that most important leadership style is to be authentic and genuine with people. Hear more and speak less. This is something very easy to say but difficult to carry out in real life, therefore we need to increase our presence and listen to our peers. It is common that those who are positioned higher up tend to speak more, naturally because they have more experience, so I try to listen more and create spaces to have discussion and lead people to make decisions. Furthermore, we need to increase these discussions, so everyone has the opportunity to generate new ideas and push for creative mindsets to thrive and change from a traditional outlook to a different one.

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