Friday 18th January marked the 30th year since the foundation of Aflofarm, a family-owned pharmaceutical company, leader in the over-the-counter products and one of the largest drug manufacturers in Poland. 2018 a breakthrough for the company - Aflofarm began its development through acquisitions and also launched a new foreign markets department. Thus, the company set the direction for its development in the upcoming yearsBreakthrough moments in the company's history
The year 1989. Andrzej Furman establishes a commercial and service company with his wife. Thus begins the history of Aflofarm. He already had experience in pharmacy, he had previously worked, among others, as the chief accountant at the local pharmaceutical plants of Polfa. Still, he is looking for a place within the industry to which he will devote his entire life.
Initially, the Furman family company acted primarily a pharmaceutical wholesaler. After two years, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare gave permission for the production of the first preparation, which was Mentho-Paraffinol. This marked the first breakthrough moment in the company's history.
Several factors determine the pace of the company's development. The pharmaceutical market in Poland is changing rapidly, so it is necessary to constantly adjust its strategy to market conditions. The company manages to develop thanks to quick and accurate decisions made by the management. The Furmans do not know yet that, over time, their family business will become the market leader in over-the-counter products. At the moment, Aflofarm has 123 OTC products, over 30 prescription drugs, as well as medical devices, cosmetics and dietary supplements on sale.
Jacek Furman, the current President, took over the company in 2016. He manages it together with his brothers, Wojciech and Tomasz. The company's development is still very dynamic. In the six consecutive years, the number of Aflofarm employees will increase almost threefold. There will be several breakthrough moments: opening up to foreign markets or entering the dermocosmetics market in 2010 are just some of them. In 2013, Aflofarm introduced Desmoxan - the first medicine containing cytisine in capsules on the Polish market. It constitutes a breakthrough solution that constitutes an effective alternative to nicotine replacement therapies.
Two foundations, one goal
Inhabitants of Pabianice and the adjacent regions associate Aflofarm, however, not only as one of the largest drug manufacturers in Poland, but also as a company that cares about their needs.
“My kochamy Pabianice” foundation was established in 2011, due to an initiative of Andrzej and Grażyna Furman. Its mission is to support the city authorities in creating a resident-friendly areas for recreation. The purpose of the projects it implements is to help organize cultural and sporting events, protect monuments and care for green areas in public places.
– We want to change Pabianice, both with the participation of the city’s residents and with their consent – comments Andrzej Furman, President of My Kochamy Pabianice.
Since its establishment, the foundation has completed around 100 projects with a total value of nearly 2.2 million PLN, thus actively contributing to the development of Pabianice and the region. In 2017, the company decided to open another foundation the spectrum of which includes activities covering entire Poland. Its goal is primarily to run educational campaigns in the field of preventive care and support for scientific and professional environments. The first success of the Aflofarm Foundation was the all-Poland anti-smoking social campaign “Do not burn yourself at the start”, which reached 27 million Poles.
– Our campaign was carried out in the form of TV spots, an educational film, website and social media. All primary and secondary schools in Poland received educational materials from us devoted to anti-smoking prophylaxis. We also wanted to involve young people in the creation of anti-smoking broadcasts, which is why we organized a competition in which the task was to shoot an additional part of our educational film – asserts Tomasz Furman, President of Aflofarm Foundation.
We are currently witnessing another breakthrough moment in the company's development. Aflofarm has recently begun development through acquisitions. In 2018, the company bought the entire stake in Trec Nutrition involved in the production of specialized nutrients for athletes. The company was also joined by a manufacturer of medicines and natural cosmetics - Scan Anida. The company was incorporated into the structures of Aflofarm.
– Over the last thirty years we have achieved a scale that now allows us to reach for external support. We do not exclude further acquisitions - we are looking for companies that are not only perspective, but have a profile that suits us best - as the leader on the pharmaceutical market in Poland – asserts Jacek Furman, President at Aflofarm.
Foreign development constitutes another priority for the upcoming years. In January 2018, the company was joined by Paweł Tomczak - the former president of Walmark, whose task is to expand Aflofarm structures outside the country. Today, Aflofarm’s products can be purchased in 28 countries throughout three continents.
– There will be more. We strive to create our own structures also outside of Poland. We are also planning to increase the recognition of our brands on foreign markets – asserts Jacek Furman. – Thirty years on the market is a time of summaries for us. During that time, our company has grown significantly: we already have four production plants, we have launched many innovative products on the market. Upon developing medicines, we try to offer patients an additional benefit: a simplified form of administration, for example syrup instead of tablets, or a higher dose, so that patients can take just one tablet, not two. I wish to thank the patients, without whom our work would not make sense, for remaining with us for so long. Their needs motivate us to act. I would also like to thank the employees of our company. I am convinced that success would not be possible without their work. They perfectly understand our mission, which is best expressed by Aflofarm's slogan: We stand on the side of health. For thirty years – claims the President.