New Arvato Services offering bridges gap between US companies and European markets

May 13, 2010
Pharmaceutical Commerce, Pharmaceutical Commerce - May/June 2010,

The Medicines Company among first customers using 3PL Bridge to Europe program

Jumping the pond is one thing; doing business in Europe is another. Logistical, cultural and regulatory challenges have made navigating the European marketplace difficult for US-based biopharma companies, but one company is trying to change that.

Arvato Services Healthcare, a division of Arvato AG (Guetersloh, Germany), has launched Bridge to Europe, a service offering that will help, well, bridge the gap between US biopharma companies and the lucrative European market. Arvato President Dr. Thorston Winkelmann says the program will leverage the company’s expertise and capabilities that include warehousing, product finishing, transport management, customer services, accounts receivable management and reporting.

“It is completely understandable why healthcare-related companies in the US and elsewhere are somewhat reluctant to expand operations in Europe,” says Christian Wolf, Director of Arvato Services Healthcare. “Our offering takes into account the many identified factors in those hesitations.” The Medicines Company (Parsippany, NJ), maker of Angiomax (bivalirudin) and Cleviprex (clevidipine butyrate), is one of the first US-based biopharma companies to tackle the European market with Arvato’s Bridge to Europe approach. The company announced at the 2010 BIO International Conference that it had appointed Arvato as its European distribution partner.

Anthony Flammia, VP of global manufacturing and supply at The Medicines Company, says Bridge to Europe fits with his company’s European sales strategy: “When we first launched our sales activities in Europe, we had no infrastructure,” he says. “Arvato allows us to ship directly to our customers in a highly service-focused manner. All activities are coordinated through a centralized warehouse. Integrated IT systems make data accessible and optimize process management across all European borders.”