We’re big on ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking as innovation truly lies at the heart of our business. Innovation in pharmaceuticals can take two forms – developing and licensing new drugs and devices, and taking an existing product and making it better – and we do both.
R&D is how we’ve produced products like Maxigesic® which has been licensed around the world, despite pain relief being one of the most competitive pharmaceutical categories internationally. It’s also how we’ve improved on numerous existing treatments, to make them more effective and more accessible to those who need them.
For example, Maxigesic®, a unique patented formulation of paracetamol and ibuprofen, was born from an ideal of providing fast, effective pain relief without the use of opioids. Combining the two most popular over-the-counter analgesics into a specific combination of paracetamol 500 mg and ibuprofen 150 mg came from years of drug development and clinical trials to prove that Maxigesic® provided more effective pain relief than the individual ingredients. What seems like a simple idea was actually the result of extensive research and development to arrive at a unique combination that produces a synergistic effect, over and above that provided by the individual components. While other paracetamol/ibuprofen combinations have been available around the world previously, Maxigesic® was the first in Australia and New Zealand to take a good idea and make it even better.
Another example is our preservative free eye care range ranging from products for the relief of dry eye disease through to itchy eye allergies. The addition of preservatives to products intended for use in or around sensitive parts of the eye has the potential to further irritate these already irritated eyes, so we have worked with our international partners to utilise new and innovative technologies to establish a preservative-free eye care range.
In many instances today, R&D is about improving existing products with new and innovative enhancements, rather than discovering something completely new.
Where do we get our product ideas?
Largely, it’s driven by patient needs. We have our own sales team so that is a huge advantage, as our sales people connect the R&D team with the coalface. They help us understand how needs are changing and what solutions are needed, and because we’re relatively small and agile compared to multi-national pharmaceutical companies, we can move quickly to respond to consumer and market needs.
Because we’re not a large multi-national pharmaceutical company, and we have to ensure we spend our R&D budget wisely, we absolutely have to get the process right. And we do.
“In the global marketplace, export success comes from being the best in the world at what you do”.
– Sir Paul Callaghan, GNZM FRS FRSNZ, New Zealander of the Year, 2011.