FROM PHARMACY TO PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY. This company is Wörwag Pharma and was created by Dr. Fritz Wörwag, then a young pharmacist with vision and initiative. His story began in a local pharmacy, founded in 1965 in the Zuffenhaisen district of Stuttgart, Germany, and named “Stadt-Apotheke Dr. Fritz Worwag.”
Here, pharmacist Dr. Fritz Wörwag discovered the benefits of benfotiamine in the treatment of neurological disorders and complications of diabetes. He developed the idea of a pharmaceutical company that would give people the opportunity to enjoy health and well-being in life thanks to medicines with high standards of quality and efficacy. This is how Wörwag Pharma came into being in 1971.
Starting from a small office opposite the pharmacy, the company would become, in its five decades of existence, an international group present in 37 countries on five continents.
One of the most important steps in expanding the business was in 1981, when Dr. Fritz Wörwag bought Magnerot, along with other pharmaceuticals. Since then, the company has focused on research in the field of magnesium and products for the treatment of muscle and cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Fritz Wörwag
This specialization was not accidental, based on the company’s founder’s belief that minerals and vitamins can improve people’s health.
Subsequently, the company took over Ankermann’s products, which allowed it to enter the market for medicines for the treatment of neuropathies. A new step in this direction was taken in 1992, when the drug Thiogamma was launched, which painted the image of Wörwag Pharma as a company specializing in the treatment of diabetes-related conditions, especially diabetic neuropathy.
INTERNATIONALIZATION OF THE COMPANY
This stage overlapped with a fundamental strategic option in the development of the company. In 1989, the Berlin Wall collapsed, releasing tens of millions of people from the former communist states.
For Wörwag Pharma, this major geopolitical change has meant new opportunities to reach new patients. The company first entered the East German market, and in 1993 opened a branch office in Budapest – a first step towards internationalization.
This first office was followed, in the last decade of the last century, by a succession of openings of representatives in Central and Eastern Europe. In Romania, Wörwag Pharma entered the pharmaceutical market in the autumn of 1997, being currently led by its first employee – Norina Gâvan.
“In 1997, I returned to the country after a doctorate at the University of California, San Francisco, in the Dermatology Clinic, specializing in skin biochemistry, in percutaneous absorption. I was a specialist biochemist at the Dermatology Clinic of the Cluj County Clinical Hospital. I felt the need for a change, but to keep me in the medical field, being passionate about research. I didn’t even think at the time that I would end up in a top management position! I sent my CV and letter of intent to a medical representative announcement and… in November 1997 I was the first employee of the German company Wörwag Pharma in Romania ”, says Norina Gâvan, CEO of Wörwag Pharma Romania.
In Romania, the company’s trajectory has been one of constant progress, above the average of the pharmaceutical market. For almost ten years, Wörwag Pharma has been ranked 25th among the over 270 registered drug manufacturers in Romania, according to Cegedim research.
In fact, the Romanian subsidiary occupies, within the group, the third position in terms of sales volume, after Russia and Germany.
Even though the company now has a strong presence both in Europe and in markets in Asia and South America, Wörwag Pharma has remained a family business, headquartered in Böblingen.
Wörwag Pharma’s product portfolio mainly includes medicines used in the treatment of diabetes-related conditions, such as diabetic neuropathy, as well as in the treatment of cardiovascular and neurological conditions. The range is complemented by biofactors, pharmaceuticals based on minerals, trace elements and vitamins, drugs designed to reduce the risk of lifestyle-related diseases and their treatment.
Made in Germany, Wörwag Pharma medicines are made according to the motto “quality over quantity”. All active substances come only from accredited good manufacturing practice manufacturers.
The company’s future plans include the launch, in the next two years, of three new over-the-counter drugs currently under registration.
In 2021, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, Wörwag Pharma Romania launched the “Biofactors for Health” educational campaign, which includes webinars addressed to both health professionals and patients and the general public.
50 years together for better health – this has been the motivation of Wörwag Pharma so far and remains the company’s promise for the future.