Exclusive interview: Glenn Cochran, CEO, Pharmacare Laboratories

The head of the major Australian owned health and wellness company whose products are promoted as being cutting edge for the health aware Australian, looks back on his journey in the industry, including the challenges of the pandemic era, and ahead to doubling manufacturing capacity at the family-owned enterprise.

You’ve been in the CEO role at PharmaCare for more than a year. Tell us about your background in the pharmaceutical sector. 

I’ve always been passionate about health and wellbeing, having started my career qualifying as a registered podiatrist, with a master’s degree in business.

This practical healthcare experience, combined with a solid foundation in business, allowed me to carve out a successful career in the commercial healthcare sector globally, working across the Asia Pacific, North America and the UK.

Over the course of my career, I’ve held a variety of roles supplying and marketing world-class products to customers including specialist physicians, dentists, general practitioners, allied health professionals, pharmacists, pharmacy assistants and the consumer.

Before joining PharmaCare just over 12 months ago, I was a regional director ANZ – health with Reckitt Benckiser, leading the company to market success in the consumer healthcare category, alongside being a member of the board of Consumer Healthcare Products Australia.

PharmaCare has a large portfolio of products and you’ve also recently added to the range. Tell us about your portfolio. 

Over the past 30 years, PharmaCare has built a business dedicated to enriching people’s lives through health and wellness.

Whether it’s making a vitamin, protein powder, deodorant, skincare moisturiser, or healthy superfood snack, it all comes down to creating the best and most efficacious products under trusted, household names, such as Sambucol, Nature’s Way, Bioglan, Ease-a-Cold, KP24, Brut, Wart-Off and many others.

Last year, we grew our portfolio significantly with the acquisition of the Medlab nutraceuticals business.

This acquisition saw PharmaCare welcome an additional 29 new products to an already comprehensive portfolio of brands.

This served to strengthen PharmaCare’s focus and dedication to its practitioner-only channel, enhancing the support of practitioners and patients with a greater diversity of clinically researched products targeting a broader range of conditions.

We’re also very proud of PharmaCare’s Australian quality guarantee across our whole portfolio of products, complying with the highest level of Australian quality and safety standards – in accordance with Food Standards Australia New Zealand, Good Manufacturing Practice and TGA regulations.

What is your message to your pharmacy customers? 

Established in 1985, PharmaCare has been a proudly 100 per cent Australian owned family business for more than 35 years.

While the past two years have been incredibly challenging, our message to pharmacy customers, from one Australian owned business to another, is that we’re in it together.

PharmaCare has the largest sales team in the country, with more than 400 dedicated employees on the ground locally to support and service our valued pharmacy customers.

During this time, we’ve strived to do everything we can to support Australian local manufacturing and industry, including working around the clock to maintain stock of your favourite products, with the aim of allowing our pharmacy customers to focus on serving their community.

What are the priorities for the business in the coming 12 months? 

At PharmaCare we aspire to be different, innovative and surprising. Over the next 12 months, we plan to celebrate major brand milestones and anniversaries, while working to fulfil ambitious growth targets as we continue to build on PharmaCare’s impressive portfolio with high-quality, effective products that are backed by research.

This year, we’ll also see the impact of major upgrades and investments made in 2021, with a view to getting product to market faster and more efficiently.

In committing to double capacity at our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in NSW last year, we’re cementing PharmaCare as a resilient business for years to come, while also further supporting our dedication to Australian manufacturing and the local economy.

Another key priority for 2022 and beyond is our people and culture. Our focus is on appealing to and retaining top talent, particularly as we work to foster excellence within our sales team.

With our culture playing an integral role in attracting talent, we’re putting our philosophy front and centre, highlighting that at PharmaCare our core values of health and family will always come first for our teams, with the ultimate goal being for our people and business to thrive together.

This Exclusive Interview was originally published in the May issue of Retail Pharmacy magazine. 

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