The French pharma company Servier has joined the list of multis to strip down their subsidiaries in Argentina. The company behind the vascular protector Daflon is laying off sales reps, district managers and other executives of various ranks as it faces shortages and gaps in access.

The economic situation in Argentina has prompted many foreign drugmakers to withdraw from the country. France’s Servier will retain its presence for now, but it’s making deep cuts to its structure. 

The company is in fix due to low profitability combined with an executive management that has been showing cracks. This is despite the fact that its portfolio in Argentina is well delimited. According to pharmacy audits, the phlebotonic Daflon represents 57% of its turnover in local currency. Its second biggest product is the oral hypoglycemiant Diamicron, accounting for 21% in local currency. In total, the drugmaker generated ARS$11.4 billion (US$ 41.6 million) in the last 12 months to Mayo.

In addition, the company last year launched its hypolipidemic Combicol, which matches rosuvastatin and ezetimibe. It had high hopes for the product but it was never incorporated into the retirees’ social security cover PAMI, despite competitors being included. This situation spelled the end for the product with no plan B in sight. Inside the company, people point the finger at the management of Andrés Blason, who has been in charge of Access for 33 years.

Of course, this was not the only issue that brought the company to its present situation. Simultaneously, and as far as Pharmabiz could learn, it has been registering repeated shortages of products in its cardio line, such as the antihypertensive Preterax and Coveram, and including Daflon 1000.

Faced with this scenario, the company, which is headed locally by the Frenchman Nelson Da Conceicao, has decided to take the bull by the horns. Pharmabiz has learned that it began sending emails for the purpose of summoning staff for individual meetings: in person in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area and virtually in the rest of the country. Waiting on the other side of the table was Da Conceicao alongside director of Human Resources Virginia Rey and external lawyer Pablo Venarotti of Nicholson y Cano. They argued that the restructuring had become necessary to make the numbers add up. Everyone affected was offered a severance package, which, as far as Pharmabiz could ascertain, adds 35% to what was mandated by contract plus vehicle in the case of sales reps.

Those exiting the company include sales manager Miguel Moresi, director of SFE & CRM Business Excellence Gabriel Solino; communications manager Julieta Capovilla and human resources manager Belckys Herrera. Meanwhile, the three regional heads, Carolina Prat, Jezebel Zieler and Jose Gonzalez, are still in negotiations and about 20 sales representatives are analysing the company’s proposal.

For now, Servier will maintain its Argentine operation, located at the Libertador Business Center in the Buenos Aires neighbourhood of Nuñez, but it will be reduced to a minimum. On top of these departures, the general manager will be taking a one-month break abroad from tomorrow (July 6) leaving his decimated troops with low morale. See article on Servier’s Argentine offices in Spanish.

Internationally, the company led by Olivier Laureau, aims to achieve turnover of €8,000 million in 2030 with EBITDA of more than 30% through a strategy based on three pillars. It aims to become a medium-size player in onco and in neurosciences and immunoinflammation. In addition, it seeks to accelerate its influence in cardiometabolism and venous diseases, supported by its star brand Daflon. It also has plans to grow its generics business.

US$ 1 = ARS $273.71 (BCRA 06/07/2023)

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