This is a supplied media release.
New Zealand’s OTC (over the counter) medications environment is one of the most advanced in the world and a model that many countries will emulate in future.
That’s the view of Matthias Stuchly, who has taken over as general manager at Bayer New Zealand’s consumer health division.
With more than 10 years’ experience in the OTC industry, Stuchly has recently arrived in Auckland from Basel, Switzerland, where he was the worldwide brand leader for the Canesten Women’s Intimate Health range.
“New Zealand’s consolidated trade environment is far more advanced than many countries I’ve worked in. For example, in France there are more than 20,000 pharmacies that we would have to do separate trade interactions with. Here in New Zealand, we work with key account distributors who are professional, knowledgeable, understand categories and want to collaborate to give the customer the best deal. You simply don’t get that in many other countries.”
Mr Stuchly believes New Zealand is also more liberal and generally open to new innovation, which makes the registration process more efficient.
“That’s why many companies tend to use New Zealand as a test market for new innovative products. They can get them registered or launched more easily, see how they go in the market and then roll out to the rest of the world, not just OTC products, but also beyond in other industries.
“People here really do seem more open towards innovation, trying new products and embracing new ideas, which is fantastic.”
Mr Stuchly says he is passionate about the concept of self-care and the positive benefits it has on healthcare systems.
“Self-care forms the foundation of health care and is fast becoming the way that people manage their own health – from choosing healthy lifestyles and using non-prescription medicines effectively, to accessing proper information and self-care learning tools to support appropriate self-diagnosis and self-treatment.
“Non-prescription drugs and other self-care solutions uphold the sustainability of healthcare systems. As such, self-care supports an aging population that is more prosperous and better educated than previous generations.”
Born and bred in Leverkusen, Germany, the location of Bayer’s global headquarters, Mr Stuchly was born with Bayer in his blood. His father worked for the company as do many of his relatives, including aunties, cousins and an uncle.
“Bayer has always been a part of my life and I am delighted that it has brought me to New Zealand. I’ve been welcomed wherever I go – there is a real friendliness here and people are genuinely curious about where I come from,” he says.
As for the future, Mr Stuchly says he is focused on continuing the steady growth of the Bayer New Zealand consumer health business, which has two new product launches before the end of the year.
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