Over 110 years of quality products from Pharma Wernigerode
The Pharma Wernigerode GmbH Company could be regarded as a veteran in the pharmaceutical sector in Saxony-Anhalt. Founded as far back as 1903 by Johannes Bürger as the "Chemisches Laboratorium Wernigerode am Harz" (Wernigerode Chemical Laboratory in the Harz), the company has withstood two world wars as well as the reunification of Germany 25 years ago. As part of the Aristo Group of Companies, Pharma Wernigerode is today a recognised toll manufacturer not only within the Aristo Group itself but also for prestigious pharmaceutical firms. The high quality standards that determine the actions of the company both today and in the future, as well as the flexible reaction to the demands of the market characterise the over 110-year success story "Made in Saxony-Anhalt".
One might also call Sylvia Schimkat a "veteran" of the company. As Assistant to the Executive Board and Head of Human Resources, she has been with the company since 1981. "We have experienced so many turns and changes with our company – even allowing for the fact that the opening of the borders in 1989 was undoubtedly an extraordinary event", she stated. "It is all the rewarding that it proved possible to keep many of our employees from that period, who indeed are still with us."
It all began in 1903 with the active ingredient from the red foxglove. Following tedious research work, the founder of the company, Johannes Bürger developed a special dialysis method for producing a high-quality remedy from fresh plants. These dialysates subsequently characterised the company's brand name. Starting in 1917 until after German reunification, the term YSAT was invariably part of the corporate designation. The company has been able to maintain and extend its expert status as a manufacturer of liquid pharmaceuticals – known as liquid preparates – throughout the chequered history of Germany. Even in the period of the East German communist regime, the 1970s witnessed the establishment of an advanced packaging of liquid products as well as a modern pharmaceutical production.
Since 2006, Pharma Wernigerode has been run by the pharmacist Stephan Walz, and is part of the Aristo Group of Companies based in Berlin. "The existing specialist expertise in the Wernigerode location and the committed employees proved the decisive factor in our decision to take over the long-established company", according to Stephan Walz. Following investment totalling some 11.7 million Euros in the production of pharmaceutical solids, it is now possible to manufacture medicines in solid, semi-solid and liquid dosage forms in Wernigerode. Although the original product from red foxglove digitalis is no longer manufactured, the "Imidin" cold remedy and the "Kamillan" solution for skin and mucosal irritations are today included in the main product range of the group of companies. These pharmaceutical products have been on the market for many decades and even today still enjoy great demand.
Some 160 products in differing potencies and packaging sizes are now produced in Wernigerode. Pharma Wernigerode provides a complete service for pharmaceutical production. The workforce of 160 employees assume all the necessary tasks – ranging from the acquisition of the raw materials through to the manufacture and packaging of the medicines. In 2013, Pharma Wernigerode generated a turnover of 18.8 million Euros. A key factor in this was provided by export business at over 12 percent, the most important regions in this regard being Eastern Europe and the Arab countries. As is the case in many sectors and companies, the shortage of specialists also presents Pharma Wernigerode with challenges. The company builds on the initial and further training in its own factories. By providing apprenticeships in the pharmaceutical technician, chemical laboratory technician, industrial mechanic, machine and plant operator professional groups as well as in the commercial sector, the company ensures its own new blood. Similarly, the young apprentices obtain the opportunity for secure employment.
The Wernigerode location offers the company a wide range of benefits, such as the central position in the heart of Germany and Europe as well as excellent infrastructure links. Furthermore, the existing site is sufficiently large to allow the expansions planned. A new storage area and modernisation of the technology combined with the qualification of its workforce is intended to secure its marketability. The core competences of the company will be further strengthened in the future. "We are keen on making use of the experience gained in the last decades – including those resulting from the invariably positive changes in the course of the company's history – in order to have a strong team to continue to drive the market in Saxony-Anhalt and beyond in the future”, according to Stephan Walz. The pharmaceutical industry in Saxony-Anhalt is part of the Health and Medicine lead market, which is regarded as having a pioneering role within the framework of the Regional Innovation Strategy. By this means, Pharma Wernigerode will continue to assume a significant role in the forthcoming decades with its products in order to position medicines "Made in Saxony-Anhalt" in the international market.
Author: Miriam Fuchs on behalf of IMG – Investment and Marketing Corporation Saxony-Anhalt
Pharma Wernigerode GmbH
Tel.: +49 3943 554 - 0
Fax: +49 3943 554 - 183