Polifarma turns 100: One of the oldest pharmaceutical companies in Italy

Focus on people, management continuity and digital innovation are the successful elements of the Roman company owned by Mrs. Luisa Angelini.


Milan, 18 April 2019 - 170 employees in Italy, 35% under-35, worldwide market development and a 30% growth expectation, for a turnover of about 55 million euros expected in 2019, of which 50% for new projects with a digital oriented approach. These are the numbers that illustrate Polifarma's situation, one of the oldest pharmaceutical companies in Italy, founded in Rome in 1919 and led for twenty years by Mrs. Luisa Angelini, who made Polifarma a point of reference in the Italian pharmaceutical market, thanks to a new business model and constant investments in innovation.

Since the creation of a small local company at the beginning of the 20th century, Polifarma has grown by focusing on products' quality and excellence and on human capital, as well as on valuable scientific information conveyed to the medical profession, which, over the years, has enabled it to establish important collaborations with pharmaceutical multinationals for the management, launch and purchase of new molecules.

The real 'gear shift' of this century-long growth path took place in 1999 with the acquisition of Polifarma by Gruppo Final, a financial corporation founded by Mrs. Luisa Angelini who, thanks to the experience gained in the family business, gave a new boost to the company organisation, focusing on the people who were already part of it and by choosing to reinvest all the profits generated, as well as to support the company with further investments in new projects. An entrepreneurial strategy that still today drives the ownership and top management, aimed at promoting the growth of the company's value and jobs.

Another important step in the history of Polifarma was taken in 2008: After a period of crisis -resulting in a 40% loss of turnover- due to patent expiry dates and the loss of licensed products in the cardiovascular area, the company began a change management process involving human resources, organisation and business model, to which was added a strong investment in innovation in the digital field. A change built around people and based on an innovative culture spreading at all levels as an opportunity to manage the complexity of the market and a renewed product portfolio, extended to gastroenterology, the central nervous system area, and ophthalmology (today's leading area, which accounts for 39% of total turnover).

'In the opinion of Polifarma, looking into the future means having a clear vision based on the shared values of reliability, transparency, and care for people. It means focusing on being close to our customers and employees and implementing courageous business policies to successfully overcome even the most difficult of times. This is the way in which Polifarma has lived its history and wants to face its future', says Andrea Bracci, Polifarma's CEO.

Over one hundred years, Polifarma has been able to combine the Italian model of the medium-sized company with that of a modern company that has made innovation, management continuity and the focus on people the key factors for growing and remaining leaders in a highly competitive and constantly evolving industry. Since 2014, in a general scenario that has changed dramatically, Polifarma's turnover has grown by 41.8%, increasing from 29.6 million in 2014 to 42 million in 2018, with forecasts of further growth for 2019 (+30% compared to 2018).

In contrast to a pharmaceutical sector that is still lagging behind in terms of digitisation, another successful factor was the creation of a digital ecosystem integrated into all company processes and projects, developed with a very significant initial investment in three years.

'Polifarma is one of those companies that have established digital as a strategic growth tool, as evidenced by the fact that each Business Unit invests 40% of its budget in digital initiatives,' adds Dr. Bracci. Our constant commitment to quality scientific information is reflected in the development of integrated technological solutions that use both the web and social media to have a positive impact on doctors' daily work and patients' care. In this regard, we are working, along with a board of experts, on an artificial intelligence project to help patients with chronic diseases to manage in the best possible way the preparation for certain diagnostic tests. Ultimately, we are doing what Mrs. Angelini, an enlightened entrepreneur like few others, already had in mind when she said in an interview in 1999 that the future would be the web'.

In addition to complete digital transformation, Polifarma's growth strategy aims at consolidating the national market by launching new projects and acquiring and licensing new products, and expanding abroad, particularly in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa.

The celebration of one hundred years of Polifarma opens with a tribute to art, a passion rooted in the company's DNA, which has always been committed to social responsibility activities with cultural goals. Leonardo da Vinci, on the 500th anniversary of his death, will 'inaugurate' the celebrations with the exhibition 'Leonardo - The Machine of Imagination', opened today at the Royal Palace in Milan where it will be exhibited until July 14.

For more information:

Polifarma S.p.A. 
Camilla Cutuli -
Digital Marketing & Corporate Communication 
06 22742263 | 346. 6437948 | cutuli@polifarma.it 

Value Relations Press Office
Tel. 06.6788870
Angela Del Giudice 
392.6858392 | a.delgiudice@vrelations.it 
Domenica Donato
320.9547481 | d.donato@vrelations.it


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Polifarma SpA - Share Capital €1,000,000.00 - fully paid up Comp. Register Rome - Tax Code 00403210586 - Economic Index (REA) Rome No. 11913 - VAT No. 00882341001