On 7 October 1946, the former companies ACF and Brocades-Stheeman took the initiative to transfer their foreign agencies to a joint venture. A new and independent pharmaceutical import company originated: NV Bipharma. Shortly after the war, the company still experienced a multitude of restrictive State interventions. However, through a steady growth Bipharma quickly proves its ‘raison d’être’.
A period of considerable growth
In the fifties and sixties numerous new medicines were developed for an ever-growing market. Additionally advantageous are the changes in the Dutch regulations that make the purchase of medicinal products available to everyone. Pharmacists accept the fact that they are no longer able to manufacture all pharmaceuticals themselves. This considerably simplifies the sales of pharmaceutical brands. Bipharma is developing itself rapidly in this area.
Registration next to sales
The pharmaceutical industry is growing and flourishing, but towards the end of the sixties, distressing voices are heard more and more often. With the considerable increase of the consumption of medicinal products, also the adverse effects are becoming manifest. This results in a more critical attitude towards the therapeutical effects and the adverse effects of medicines and to stricter requirements for the marketing authorization.
A new task arises for importers such as Bipharma. Next to sales, the company is also taking care of the registration process of medicines that it sells in The Netherlands.
A renewed Bipharma takes shape as of 1989. In that year Gist-Brocades withdraws from Brocacef and ACF becomes the full owner of the Brocacef holding company, and thus also of Bipharma. It is a turbulent time for the company. Lasting relations change directions and after the European borders opened up, many manufacturers start distributing their products within Europe themselves.
A new, strong and independent Bipharma
In the early 90s, hard work created a decisive organization with a new catalogue. A start is made with the introduction of own products. Based on a contemporary marketing strategy, Bipharma succeeds to prove is ‘raison d’être’ again and to consolidate its position in the market.
In 1995 a management buy-out took place, so that a year later the company celebrated its 50th anniversary as a fully independent company.
Since 2000, a new owner-director has been responsible for the successful reorientation and focus on dermatology and injectables. Since 2008, Bipharma’s diagnostic products have been incorporated in the then acquired company Clindia Benelux. And the immunological test products for the successful colon cancer screening programs in Flanders, Walloon and Luxemburg are supplied through the Belgian subsidiary from Bipharma since 2013.
The logistic services that Bipharma originally provided as a spin-off of its excess warehouse capacity were further professionalized by the move to the new premises in Almere at the end of 2010 and constitute an important part of business activities ever since.
70 plus, but ever youthful
To this day Bipharma is still independent and determined to ‘work towards a healthy future’. Convinced of the importance of intellectual property, we are working on the extension of the catalogue in a new direction, only not new from Bipharma’s history. That – of course – is not surprising if you have already passed your 70th birthday and have been washed by many pharmaceutical waters …