Norina Alinta Gavan, CEO & Managing Director, Wörwag Pharma Romania

Norina Alinta Gavan: Improving the Quality of Lives of Diabetic Patients

Like every other industry, women have made their marks of excellence in the healthcare industry as well. With their positive outlook, determination, and compassionate approach, they have changed the face of the healthcare industry.

Keeping the spotlight intact on such prominent women, we set out on an endeavour to find Most Eminent Women Leaders in Healthcare, where we crossed our paths with Norina Alinta Gavan.

Norina is the CEO and Managing Director of Wörwag Pharma Romania, a pharmaceutical company that develops and sells biofactor preparations worldwide. Through Wörwag Pharma, she is making people aware of the importance of their health effective solutions in preventing and treating lifestyle disorders.  Norina has been instrumental in the company’s growth through her passion for the medical industry and exemplary leadership skills.

In an interview with Insights Success, Norina shares her entrepreneurial journey, experiences, and her thoughts on the improvement in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry.

Below are the highlights of the interview:

Give us a brief overview of your position at Wörwag Pharma, and your journey since inception.

My journey at Wörwag Pharma began in the late autumn of 1997, when I came back to my home country following a Ph.D. internship at the University of California, San Francisco, at the Dermatology Clinic, specializing in Skin Biochemistry, in Percutaneous Absorption. At that time, I was working as a Biochemist Specialist at the Dermatology Clinic of the Cluj County Clinical Hospital. I felt the need for a change, but one that would keep me connected to the medical field, as research has always been my passion.

Back then, it never even crossed my mind that I would reach a top management position! I sent my CV and cover letter to a medical representative ad and … in November 1997 I was the first employee of the German company Wörwag Pharma in Romania. At first, I didn’t know much about this field, but I was determined, so I learned, discovered, improved, and managed to get where I am now.

What were the challenges you came across throughout your personal and professional journey?

The years spent at Wörwag Pharma have been fraught with many challenges. Throughout this personal and professional journey, at every step, one makes lots of choices and decisions; for any person with a career, the balance between their professional and personal life is one of the biggest challenges.

However, I tried to find a balance, and I must confess that I sometimes failed. I am apologetic to my loved ones when my professional time takes up a lot of my personal time, but I think it is important to put it out honestly and fight constantly to achieve this balance.

Being an experienced business leader, what is your opinion on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the pharmaceutical industry? And how has Wörwag Pharma Romania managed to overcome this significant challenge?

The pandemic has had a strong impact on the pharmaceutical market, and this has forced pharmaceutical companies to rethink their strategies. Digital trends have helped us keep our customer relationships and maybe even improve them. Wörwag Pharma Romania has kept up with the online environment by organizing different webinars. In 2020, to support Pharmacy students, the company launched a support and career guidance program dedicated to them: WÖRWAG STARTUP. The program aims to give future Pharmacists access to the best quality career guidance programs, experiences that complement the knowledge gained in college, and a complete perspective on this profession. I firmly believe that achieving what one sets out to do takes a lot of work, involvement, dedication, and especially discipline.

If given a chance, what is the one thing that you would change about the Pharmaceutical ecosystem key policy initiatives?

Progress means movement and must be supported by innovation and dedication, by the intention to do good. It should be supported by ethics, fair business principles, but also by a fair and selfless education of the population in relation to their own health. A society can only develop harmoniously if it is made up of healthy and beautiful people.

How do you envision on sustaining your competency in a cutthroat and volatile world of healthcare? What could be the future of the Pharmaceuticals’ companies?

I am optimistic about the future development of the pharmaceutical industry. All the players on this stage will need to adjust. Access has become the front and center topic for the pharmaceutical industry. The majority of Pharma companies now have explicit goals and commitments related to patient access at the executive level and in their mission statements. “Access” is now on the agenda of multiple functions and the role of the market access function, which traditionally focused on technical issues like health economics models, evidence synthesis, and pricing research, is rapidly evolving to become that of an orchestrator of access and product availability across the organization.

With the growing commitment to achieve patient access around the world, market access functions are expected to provide broader stewardship on access to the organization, ensuring that access is considered throughout the product life cycle, from early research and development to commercialization, growth, and loss of exclusivity.

What have you envisioned for the future regarding your role at Worwag Pharma and for your personal ambitions as well?

We want to continue to be focused on our core competence field, in treatment of diabetes and its complications, especially in prevention and treatment of diabetic neuropathy; we want to be present in the patients’ life as an educator, to improve their quality of life.

In the next two years, the company will launch three new over-the-counter drugs currently under registration. We are hoping to have the capacity and strength to adapt to all the challenges that will arise to continue our desired development.

And at the end of the day, at Worwag Pharma Romania I still have many things to do together with the team I formed and of which I am very proud.