Vetcare going international
This past spring has been special for us: Vetcares drug development, which started over a decade ago with an original molecule, is about to result in something concrete now that we’ve obtained marketing authorisation for our proprietary medicine; initially for Europe late last year and for the US this spring.
This is no small feat. Only a few medicinal products developed from an original molecule enter the global market each year, and it takes, on average, 10–15 years and at least as many millions of euros to develop one.
So, now we’ve reached a significant milestone in product development and internationalisation, and the international distribution of the product will start soon.
Read more about the launch of our proprietary medicine here!
How have we reached this point, then?
Vetcare’s path from a Finnish wholesaler of veterinary medicinal products to an international export company has been a long one. For a long time now, we’ve been a key operator in the Finnish veterinary medicinal product market and have a strong foothold in both over-the-counter products and prescription drugs prescribed by veterinarians.
In 2020, we updated our growth strategy and made international growth one of the cornerstones of our future. Since things have been running smoothly on the domestic front, international growth just seemed like the next logical step.
Our goal is to be in the top 20 of the European veterinary medicinal product market by 2026. The transformation from a national pharmaceutical company to an international export company doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to change ways of operating and thinking, and learning something new often requires stepping out of your comfort zone. But hey, at least we know the direction we’re heading in.
From the domestic market to an international operator
Our mission and the reason for starting this company over thirty years ago are still reflected in our everyday work. The company was originally established to provide veterinarians with access to better medicine – more effective and with fewer side effects – and that’s a path that we’re still on.
As a family-owned company, large innovation-based investments mean a lot to us. Without a large external investor or supporter, such an extensive project is a lot to take on, but, on the other hand, it helps us to steer our operations in the right direction and keeps us going.
Nevertheless, pharmaceutical innovation is worthless, unless it is commercialised, marketed, sold and distributed the right way. Whether the product is a cancer drug for humans or a sedative for dogs, its journey from the laboratory to the end-user is agonisingly long – given your certainty that it will make a real difference in the world.
As the CEO, I’m convinced that we’re ready to step into the international arena. Are we scared? Of course we are. Do we have to learn something new every day and go beyond our comfort zone? Without a doubt.
The leap from the safe and familiar position of a market leader to the unknown and extremely competitive international market takes a lot from us. In recent years, we have, for example, implemented major changes, updated our organisational structure and operating models to better meet future needs, recruited new talent to support our international growth and changed our HR into HRD. While perfecting our game, we’re already preparing for the finals: when the sales commence, the drug must be available, distribution routes and logistics in order and we must have the answers to even the trickiest of questions.
Now that we’ve secured international marketing authorisation for the new proprietary medicine and the deliveries will start soon, do I think that everything we’ve done so far has been worth it? Absolutely.
Ahead by a snout,
Writer: Olli Kuussaari is the Vetcare CEO, leading the company’s international growth.