FBW: What are the strengths of Nam Pharma that have gained it the position of a leading animal health company?
Our National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau, a government agency under the Ministry of Health, adopts high standards for the manufacturing of veterinary pharmaceuticals. For example, it adopts the PIC/S (Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme) guidelines, an accreditation from Geneva, Switzerland which is recognised by many European countries.
Accordingly, the production processes of Nam Pharma comply with the PIC/S guidelines.
This puts the manufacturing of veterinary pharmaceuticals in Nam Pharma and Malaysia as a whole, ahead of the Southeast Asia region, which does not have such systems in place as yet.
Please tell us more about Nam Pharma's probiotic and herbal supplement businesses.
For most of the countries that we export our products to, we note that their main focus and criteria for importing in fact lie with our probiotic and herbal supplement products, rather than our antibiotic products. This is a very good sign for growth for our probiotic and herbal supplement businesses.
It is also interesting to note that even the less developed countries are already giving their attention to such antibiotic-free products.
Definitely the 'antibiotic-free' movement from Europe will find its way into Southeast Asia and the Middle East. At exhibitions which we participate in, most of our customers are no longer looking at our traditional antibiotic products. They are looking for something more unique, such as our probiotic and herbal supplement products.
Specifically for our probiotic products, we produce the actual microorganism culture in our lab at the correct dosage. This is unlike many probiotic products in the market, which are developed just based on an assumption of the microorganism count.
As for herbal supplements, they also interest us a lot due to their minimal side effects. There is no withdrawal period unlike traditional antibiotics, and minimal toxin-related issues such as product overdose to be concerned about.
What are the R&D areas that Nam Pharma has invested in and what would be the technologies that you would be looking at in the future?
Just like the European market, we are heading towards developing antibiotic-free products. We believe that prevention is better than cure, and products such as probiotics and herbal supplements will be able to provide long-term protection for the animal. Antibiotic-free supplements will also make livestock products safer for human consumption. And as earlier mentioned, antibiotic-free products have minimal side effects in the animal.
More generally speaking, we are always working towards solving farmers' problems, and lowering our product costs for them, for example by making our manufacturing processes more cost-efficient.
To give you a more specific example, our effervescent products have been developed to be 100% soluble in water. They are unlike many vitamin or amino acid products in the market, which although water soluble, are still not 100% soluble. This can create problems such as blockage of water systems. Besides being 100% soluble, our effervescent products are also efficacious, have a much higher bioavailability in the animal, while still being cost-effective.
What steps are you taking to bring Nam Pharma to the next level of growth?
Our current product portfolio is focussed on water-soluble products and liquid formulations. We have plans to additionally develop tablet products which have a more flexible usage in livestock especially in large and companion animals.
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