Setting the bar high

Proudly innovative, proudly entrepreneurial, proudly South African


Mundipharma South Africa prides itself on not only being an innovative pharmaceutical company but on fostering an entrepreneurial spirit among all its employees and creating diversity within the different roles across the business.

This diversity was recognised in 2018 when Mundipharma South Africa won the Standard Bank Top Women Award in the health and pharmaceutical industry. The woman at the helm of the business in South Africa, Shannon te Roller, is proof of the diversity within the organisation.

Mundipharma established its operations in South Africa back in 2011. Te Roller joined the fledgeling company in 2012 with a handful of other employees. Now, in 2019, Mundipharma is recognised as one of the top 10 fastest-growing pharmaceutical companies in South Africa. Mundipharma South Africa is part of the Mundipharma network of independent associated companies, which has a global presence.

Mundipharma is focused on business transformation by leveraging global leadership in pain and, through a shared spirit of innovation, building a growing presence in antisepsis, ophthalmology, respiratory, oncology, consumer healthcare and other specialty areas. Their innovative medicines have transformed the way health practitioners go about treating pain.

The company boasts an impressive pain medication portfolio, including the world’s first extended-release morphine tablet and seven-day analgesic patch. These innovative medicines have transformed the way health practitioners go about treating pain.

Additionally, Betadine®, which is in its line of antiseptic treatments, has a legacy of over 60 years and is well-known for its germ-killing properties.

“During the outbreak of Ebola, Mundipharma was committed to helping contain the outbreak and donated significant amounts of Betadine® for handwashing purposes to play its role in helping to prevent the outbreak spreading in West Africa,” says Te Roller.

More recently, the company has expanded the ophthalmology side of the business, with glaucoma treatment being high on the agenda.

“The opportunity to create ophthalmology as a new pillar of focus within our organisation has allowed us to increase our scope of expertise and product acquisitions into a disease area, which is very emotive and difficult to treat. Glaucoma, in particular, affects so many people globally and we are looking forward to exciting developments, including the launch of a new preservative-free option for the primary treatment of glaucoma in 2019.

“We will continue to build on our existing portfolio, which will allow patients to have an increased choice, especially when managing the side-effects of glaucoma, like ocular surface disease, which can become a real problem in some patients,” says Te Roller.

Keeping up with the times

The company prides itself on being innovative in these dynamic times and with the Fourth Industrial Revolution picking up speed, it is essential to keep an eye on the future for the next chapter of medical advancements.

“It’s really about accessibility for your customers. In order to compete in the marketplace, one has to be innovative in terms of using digital platforms to bring awareness to brands, whether it is through social media, online editorials or educational programmes,” Te Roller explains.

Mundipharma South Africa is a member of the Innovative Pharmaceutical Association of South Africa (IPASA), which represents pharmaceutical companies dedicated to bringing innovation and quality products to the South African pharmaceutical market.

“Our products are innovative, so they differentiate themselves in terms of the market value they provide to patients. However, the company is really geared towards an entrepreneurial spirit.

“This entrepreneurial spirit underlies the way we function and are able to be agile within the market dynamics. Change is constant so we need to have a growth mindset at the core of our culture’s DNA.

“That entrepreneurial spirit and growth mindset really encapsulate what differentiates us in terms of how we operate, it makes us more agile. We have a number of core values that govern and empower our behaviour at Mundipharma, namely accountability, performance, leading self and alignment within our commercial operations,” she says.

Shannon te Roller

Having originally started out as a town and regional planner, Te Roller always had a keen interest in medicine and when she made the move to the pharmaceutical industry, she had to start from the bottom up.

“I started as a medical representative before moving into management—I have been very blessed in terms of the many opportunities Mundipharma has provided me,” concludes Te Roller.

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