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Products & Care

Management report

The “Products & Care” segment comprises the “Retail” business area with offerings for patients and end customers (B2C) and the “Professionals” business area with offerings for business customers and partners in the healthcare industry (B2B).


The “Retail” business area comprises the two sectors “Local Pharmacies” (POS) and “Pharmacies at Home” (mail-order and home care), while the “Professionals” business area consists of the “Products & Brands” and “Services for Professionals” sectors. Both business areas focus on the development, marketing and sale of healthcare services and products through the various Galenica distribution channels. Depending on their needs, end customers (B2C) can benefit from their own bricks-and-mortar pharmacies, home care services, mail-order pharmacies and online shops. Galenica also supports healthcare providers (B2B) such as pharmacies, drugstores, physicians, care homes, hospitals and home care organisations as a strong partner.


“Products & Care” segment key figures

The “Products & Care” segment generated net sales of CHF 1,635.6 million (+3.3%) in the 2023 financial year. Of this, CHF 1,385.6 million (+1.8%) was attributable to the “Retail” business area (B2C), with the “Local Pharmacies” sector contributing CHF 1,306.9 million (+1.6%, excluding Coop Vitality) and the “Pharmacies at Home” sector contributing CHF 78.9 million (+6.6%, excluding Mediservice). Adjusted for the extraordinary additional sales in connection with COVID-19 in the previous year, sales growth for “Local Pharmacies” amounted to +2.7%.

The “Professionals” (B2B) business area increased sales to CHF 256.1 million (+11.9%), with the “Products & Brands” sector contributing CHF 177.1 million (+12.3%) and the “Services for Professionals” sector contributing CHF 78.9 million (+11.0%).

The adjusted1 operating result (EBIT), i.e. excluding the impact of the IFRS standard 16 (Leases) accounting standard, increased by 6.3% to CHF 152.3 million in the 2023 financial year and the adjusted1 return on sales (ROS) increased from 9.0% to 9.3%. EBIT growth was positively impacted by an extraordinary valuation adjustment to inventories booked in the second half of 2023 in the amount of CHF 3.0 million. Without this effect, EBIT would have increased by 4.2% and ROS would have been 9.1%.

Investments in the “Products & Care” segment amounted to CHF 29.3 million (previous year: CHF 15.5 million). The increase in investment activity compared to the previous year is due in particular to a temporarily more intensive expansion and renovation of pharmacies.

1) Excluding the effects of IFRS 16. See chapter “Alternative performance measures”.


Sustainable generic substitution rate 

Due to lower generics prices, the generics substitution promoted by Galenica curbed sales. Compared to the previous year, it increased by 0.4 percentage points to 75.2% at the end of 2023. As a result, Galenica’s contribution to reducing price hikes in the Swiss healthcare system will continue to make an impact in the long term.

“Retail” business area (B2C)

Local Pharmacies

In the 2023 financial year, the “Local Pharmacies” sector achieved net sales of CHF 1,306.9 million (+1.6%, excluding Coop Vitality). Adjusted for additional sales in connection with COVID-19, sales growth for “Local Pharmacies” amounted to 2.7%. In addition, government-ordered price reductions led to a decline in sales of -1.4% in 2022. Without this effect, net sales in the “Local Pharmacies” sector would have increased by 3.0%. At +0.2%, the expansion of the pharmacy network had only a negligible impact on sales growth.

By way of comparison: drug sales from bricks-and-mortar pharmacies in Switzerland (prescription [Rx] and OTC products) grew by 4.4% in the reporting year (IQVIA, Pharmaceutical Market Switzerland, 2023).

The non-medications segment of the Consumer Healthcare market declined by -1.3% in the reporting year (IQVIA, Consumer Health Market Switzerland, 2023, Nutrition, Personal Care, Patient Care, excluding COVID-19 self-tests, excluding OTC).


Pharmacy services are in high demand

The bricks-and-mortar pharmacies of the Galenica Group can look back on a successful year. They were once again able to demonstrate their importance for the low-threshold healthcare of the population. The number of vaccinations, particularly against flu and TBE, carried out by trained pharmacy staff increased by 18% to around 44,000 doses in 2023 (without COVID-19). The group of corporate customers – companies that offer their employees a flu vaccination – also grew significantly. Due to the closure of vaccination centres, pharmacies once again played an important role in COVID-19 vaccinations, especially for at-risk groups. Depending on cantonal regulations, the Swiss population was also able to obtain immunisation from pharmacies against herpes zoster, tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and whooping cough. In addition to vaccination, there is also considerable demand for other advisory services for particularly common health problems. For example, the number of advisory and service consultations held in the financial year increased by 14% to 138,000 (previous year: 121,000). To position the services and advice offered in pharmacies even more clearly for patients in future and to further professionalise them, the pilot project for the “Consultation Plus” concept was launched at the Amavita Zollikofen (Canton of Bern) in October 2023. Consultation Plus focuses on customer concerns that require a special level of discretion.

Valuable interdisciplinary collaboration

Following a successful pilot phase in 2023, around 200 Amavita, Sun Store and Coop Vitality pharmacies will be able to add a telemedical consultation to their pharmacy-based basic care with “Book a Doc” in 2024. The initiative is a good example of tangible added value for customers, who receive not only a medical consultation directly at the pharmacy within 15 minutes, but also any pharmacist approved medication they may need. With “Book a Doc”, Galenica is also promoting interdisciplinary collaboration between players in the healthcare sector – to the benefit of all parties involved.

Health insurers recognise the services provided by pharmacies

The advice provided by pharmacy staff, such as for frequent, uncomplicated urinary tract infections, linked to the corresponding direct dispensing of prescription medication, is also gaining in importance. Demand will increase in future thanks to communication from health insurers cooperating with Galenica. Remuneration for pharmacy services such as vaccinations, advice and preventive care is also increasingly being covered by health insurers in alternative or supplementary insurance models and communicated to policyholders. Galenica is committed to this strategic objective, not least on behalf of the entire industry and was able to conclude important agreements with renowned health insurers in the 2023 financial year.

Site optimisation in Geneva as a contribution to nationwide basic care

One reason for the noticeably high level of acceptance and popularity of bricks-and-mortar pharmacies is the strategic decision to consistently focus on customer needs. Two events from the 2023 financial year are particularly noteworthy in this regard: a pharmacy in Geneva was on the verge of closure due to the lack of succession planning and an unfavourable competitive situation – an unpleasant situation for regular customers, including many chronically ill, elderly patients. Galenica decided to acquire the small pharmacy and integrated it into the nearby Amavita pharmacy on Place Claparède. This is an ideal solution for its regular customers, clients and an important contribution to ensuring that basic services are as comprehensive as possible.

In 2023, seven pharmacies were acquired and one new location opened. At the same time, there were seven store closures as part of optimisation measures. At the end of 2023, the network of Galenica’s own pharmacies comprised a total of 369 pharmacies (net +1). In addition, the rebranding of the Sun Store pharmacies to Amavita in German-speaking Switzerland was completed in 2023.

Own points of sale





Amavita pharmacies 1)




Sun Store pharmacies 1)




Coop Vitality pharmacies 2)



Specialty pharmacy Mediservice 2)



Majority holdings in other pharmacies 1)




Total own points of sale




1) Fully consolidated

2) Consolidated at equity


Reopening of a vibrant pharmacy

The Amavita Bahnhof Apotheke at Zurich main station is another example showing the pharmacies’ crucial role in providing essential services. It is the largest pharmacy in Switzerland in terms of floor space and is open every day, including on Sundays and public holidays, from 7 a.m. to midnight. Deliveries are made to the pharmacy five times a day, so that even people passing through can get the products they need within a very short time. Since autumn 2023, the 100-strong team, which responds to customer needs in more than 20 languages, has been working in the premises of the historic station building once again. The site was carefully renovated over the course of three years and now shines in new splendour.


Pharmacies at Home

With sales of CHF 78.9 million (+6.6%, excluding Mediservice), the “Pharmacies at Home” sector achieved strong growth. The net expansion with Cannaplant, the leading provider of formulations for medicinal cannabis products, and the sale of Careproduct contributed 2.6% to sales growth. The organic growth of 4.0% was due in particular to Bichsel’s sales in the area of clinical nutrition.

Switzerland’s leading online pharmacy

For the specialty pharmacy Mediservice, the highlight of the financial year was the founding of a joint venture with Redcare Pharmacy (formerly Shop Apotheke Europe). Thanks to the acquisition of its Swiss business activities, i.e. the online shop, Mediservice succeeded in becoming Switzerland’s leading online pharmacy. The joint venture offers a unique customer promise: the shipping of prescription medications, combined with recognised home care services and the most comprehensive range of products for health, beauty and care. Another important milestone was the rebranding of the online shop, as one of the first countries to do so. In the past few months, Mediservice has focused on the integration as well as customer and partner communication, expanding the online pharmacy range and coordinating synergies between the business units.

New Amavita online shop

Galenica’s pharmacy formats also have a presence in the digital space. At the beginning of October 2023, Galenica launched the beta version of Amavita’s online shop, which is based on a new technology. True to Galenica’s Omni-Channel strategy, the online presence complements bricks-and-mortar points of sale and, above all, serves as a digital gateway to the Galenica network. Galenica is therefore planning to develop its online shops into actual information centres and to strengthen its position as a provider of competent and trustworthy content on health topics: this allows customers to obtain information digitally and to be directed to the right channel, such as the Amavita bricks-and-mortar pharmacy, as needed. The new online shop is now being continuously developed further and made available to all customers step by step. From summer 2024, the Sun Store and Coop Vitality online shops will also be based on this new technology.


Prescription Manager as a digital helper

People with chronic conditions who regularly need several medications usually have to renew their repeat prescriptions after six or twelve months. Many patients struggle with this task, which in turn poses a risk to adherence with and efficacy of their therapy. With this in mind, the specialists at Galenica developed a simple solution that is also easy to use for elderly people: the Prescription Manager. This digital helper makes it easy to manage repeat prescriptions and conveniently order medication, either to your home or to the pharmacy of your choice. You are also made aware of this before a prescription expires. From 2024, all Galenica pharmacy formats will have an interface to the Prescription Manager.


Making life easier thanks to the Home Care Coordination Service

In 2023, Galenica established the Home Care Coordination Service. This helps patients to organise and coordinate their treatment and to procure products and medical aids. The current focus is on people with Parkinson’s disease. Over time, this poses major challenges for those affected and their relatives. In collaboration with the Inselspital and the association Schweizer Netzwerk Parkinson Mittelland (Swiss Parkinson’s Network Mittelland), an important partnership has been established, with initial positive experiences: this coordination service is a welcome relief for patients and relatives, as well as for the caring therapy network. For Galenica, this is a good opportunity to draw attention to the added value that its network brings.

Galenica expands home care offering

The home care offerings of Bichsel, the specialist in artificial nutrition and intravenous therapies, performed very well in the 2023 financial year, with growth significantly higher than in the previous year. As of January 2024, Galenica acquired a 33% stake in Farmadomo Home Care Provider SA, the leading home care organisation in the field of clinical nutrition and blister packaging of medicines in the canton of Ticino. Farmadomo's activities align with Bichsel's Home Care offerings (clinical nutrition) and Medifilm (blister packaging of medications). However, both Medifilm and Bichsel have a limited presence in Italian-speaking Switzerland. Farmadomo has successfully tapped into this attractive and growing market in recent years and made good use of its local presence. This means that patients in Ticino will also be able to benefit from the Galenica network’s comprehensive home care offering in future.


“Professionals” business area (B2B)

Products & Brands

The “Products & Brands” sector achieved sales of CHF 177.1 million (+12.3%) in the 2023 financial year. Of this, CHF 141.5 million (+8.0%) came from the Swiss market and CHF 35.7 million (+33.6%) from exports involving distribution partners. The strong growth in exports was driven by the recovery in demand for products such as travel and cold products, as well as the expansion of storage capacities abroad, for Perskindol® for instance, due to a regulatory change that will soon come into effect.

The expansion-related growth effect for “Products & Brands” thanks to the acquisition of Padma AG and the exclusive distribution of Boiron’s homeopathic medicines amounted to +7.3%.

By way of comparison: the consumer healthcare market grew by 0.7% year-on-year (IQVIA, Consumer Health Market Switzerland, 2023, excluding COVID-19 self-tests).

Wide range of complementary medicine offerings

Thanks to the acquisitions of Padma Ltd. in January 2023 and the cannabis specialist Cannaplant (consolidated sales in the “Pharmacies at Home” segment) at the end of 2022, Verfora was able to strengthen its strategic areas in both complementary medicine and the physicians’ business. The company remains the market leader in the traditional consumer healthcare market – with accelerated growth compared to its competitors. In the 2023 financial year, the focus in the “Professionals” business area was mainly on integration tasks and exploiting synergies resulting from the takeovers. At Coop Vitality in particular, Padma products are well established in the range, while distribution of Padmed Circosan N, the product for treating mild circulatory disorders, through the Verfora medical field service still has potential.


Services for Professionals

The “Services for Professionals” sector generated sales of CHF 78.9 million (+11.0%) in the 2023 financial year. Growth was generated in particular by the strong performance of Lifestage Solutions Ltd. and with blister packaging solutions from Medifilm.

Bichsel improves offering for hospitals

Hospitals are important customers of the medicinal products manufactured by Bichsel. Their feedback was valuable for certain adjustments to our services and process optimisations over the course of 2023. This made it possible to align the Bichsel portfolio even more closely with the needs of the hospitals, representing a further step towards making some of the critical drugs that are missing on the market available. It will also improve capacity utilisation and use of the two production sites.

Lifestage as a central digital platform

The Galenica network offers a unique range of services for retirement and nursing homes and home care organisations throughout Switzerland. In addition to clinical nutrition mentioned above (Bichsel), it also includes pharmaceutical care (pharmacy network), patient-specific blister packaging of medications (Medifilm), consumables and care materials (Lifestage) and mobile care home doctors (Emeda). Galenica is expanding the Lifestage application, which is already established in home care organisations, retirement and nursing homes, into a central digital platform for all these services. Similar to the new online shop, which serves as the digital gateway to the Galenica network for private customers, one platform should also bundle and network all services for healthcare professionals in future.

Initiative to network healthcare professionals

Galenica also attaches importance to networking outside the digital space. In November 2023, for example, it invited around 100 healthcare professionals to an interdisciplinary exchange. Representatives of health insurers, pharmacies, hospitals, doctor networks and home care organisations dealt with specific cases from practice, such as acute care (hospital services in the fields of medicine, surgery and gynaecology), women’s health and diabetes management. The intensive group work focused on one question: what should be done to give patients a sense of added value rather than complexity?

New blister packaging machines for Medifilm

In the 2023 financial year, Medifilm laid the groundwork for commissioning new blister packaging machines in the first half-year of 2024. As a result, Medifilm will be able to significantly increase its capacity and thus meet the steadily increasing demand for patient-specific blister packaging in the usual high quality and reliability. In the 2023 financial year, Medifilm was able to increase the number of patients via the supporting pharmacies by more than 10% to newly around 14,300. In addition, over 70 new institutional clients were acquired for the supply of medifilms.

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