Embracing Change, Fueling Progress: This is our journey through 2023.
The beginning of a new year is a time to reflect on and renew our commitment to building a better life, filled with good health and accessible healthcare for all.
Today, we want to share with you the chapters that shaped A.forall in 2023.
1. Embracing a New Era:
In 2023, Alter Pharma took on a new name – A.forall – for a new era of affordable, accessible, high-quality medicines. It was a move that brought all our brands, businesses and people together for one mission: #MakingAffordableMedicinesAvailableToAll.
“To reach new milestones, Alter Pharma and its brands, businesses and people have now united under a new name: A.forall.“ – Filip Van de Vliet, CEO A.forall
It’s been a positive, challenging (at times) and, above all, rewarding and very exciting process.
2. Milestones in Medicine Access:
Our Pharmacy House business again played a vital role in medicines’ availability. In 2023, ~460k months of missing treatments were delivered to Belgian pharmacies, helping patients access the medicines they need.
Hospital deliveries saw a substantial increase, with more than 1 million treatment units administered to hospitalized patients. In total, that equals more than 1 million Belgian patients that would lack their medication at home or in the hospital if it were not for our Pharmacy House shortage solutions!
The other part of the equation for easy access to quality medicines is affordability, an area equally addressed by our Generics Business. With 5 of our generic products that are currently being commercialized, in 2023, we have been supplying 1.25 million boxes of medicines in shortage to patients in the U.S., Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Poland up to Australia, addressing critical shortages in the market and showcasing our unique ability to supply essential products in times where others fail to do so.
3. Our U.S. Success Stories:
We now have 4 products launched on the U.S. market. We are also very proud of our work in the U.S. with the approval of two new products, Sodium Acetate 4 mEq INJ and Dexmedetomidine INJ, in 2023 – notable for receiving first cycle approvals.
“Fewer than 15% of all submitted ANDAs receive a First Cycle Approval. This statistic highlights the exceptional capabilities of our scientific and regulatory teams.” – Erik Lazarich, MBA, President, Milla Pharmaceuticals.
Our gratitude and pride go to our people for these developments that show our dedication to producing quality products, addressing drug shortages, establishing a validated track record of quality filings, and making great progress on a promising pipeline of new products.
4. Expanding Our Hospital Business:
Our Belgian-based Pharmacy House activities have now expanded to Ireland, marking just the beginning of our international expansion efforts. Throughout 2023, diverse teams from different countries worked tirelessly to share expertise and break down barriers, which lead to this significant milestone. This achievement demonstrates our commitment to bring affordable medicines to more patients in hospitals globally. We aim to further expand our reach to additional countries in the coming years.
Additionally, at the end of last year, we achieved our first Belgian sales of Combogesic in December – a groundbreaking painkiller combining paracetamol and ibuprofen in IV form. Its reimbursement has been granted by health authorities, further highlighting its importance in the current healthcare landscape.
4. Our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) commitment:
In addition to our business updates, we are very proud of the ESG initiatives we have been working on. Our team had fun participating in the 20km run for Handicap International, doing street clean-ups in the neighbouring streets of our offices in Belgium and Ireland, and donating blood during a blood drive.
Structurally, our commitment to environmental sustainability shows in our waste recycling efforts. In Ireland, for example, we started collaborating with a recycling partner allowing us to recycle all the waste we produce in our warehouse. We estimate to save 15 to 20 tons of CO2 in 2024 just by making this switch alone. We also installed solar panels on the roof of our Irish warehouse/office, highlighting our dedication to using green energy!
Another significant environmental innovation of the year was the development of a paper-based blister label for medicines packaging.
“In response to society’s call for eco-conscious solutions, with the collaborative guidance of our suppliers, we’ve minimized our plastic footprint in repackaging, aligning our commitment to sustainability with the growing demand for environmentally friendly packaging practices.” – Gerald Lefebvre, Chief Operations Officer – Pharmacy House.
In June 2023, the first product was ready for distribution with this new packaging. Our full production will be switched to paper-based labels by mid-2024 with an expected annual emissions reduction of approximately 20 tons of CO2 equivalent.
Building on our commitment on a greener supply chain, we have successfully initiated the switch to recycled carton for repacking our imported medicines boxes, leading to an additional reduction of around 40 tons of CO² every year.