Company information

  • Website:
  • Sector: Pharmaceutical
  • Country: Germany
  • Revenue: €150M to €250M

The herbal life

With exports to more than 50 countries around the globe, Germany-based Bionorica SE is the world’s leading manufacturer of herbal medicines. "In Germany, we are market leaders in packaging units in the field of herbal medicines, with a particular focus on the area of respiratory tract infections," explains Professor Michael Popp, Chairman of the Executive Board of Bionorica SE.

What makes Bionorica different from many other herbal brands is its commitment to researching medicinal plants and herbal medicines. "We work together with leading institutions and universities all over the world, and at this level we are the benchmark for the global herbal medicine industry," adds Michael.

It’s an industry that’s enjoying something of a renaissance at present. Michael talks of a movement away from the "tiny man-made molecule", back towards natural science and a search for complex plant compounds found in nature. But while the growing trend is greatly beneficial to Bionorica’s success, ultimately it is the efficacy of its medicines and the satisfaction of doctors who prescribe them that is driving the firm forward.

  • 90% – Doctors in Germany who would recommend or take Bionorica products, according to a survey

"It’s down to the high quality of our products. Starting with the development of our own seed stock and continuing right up to the patented proprietary medicinal product and its proven efficacy," explains Michael.

There have been some bumps along the way, however. In 2004, the move by Germany’s statutory health insurance providers to stop reimbursing the cost of herbal medicines hit the company hard. The various financial crises around the world, including the collapse of the Russian Rouble in 1998 and currency problems in Asia, have also brought challenges to the firm.

Despite all this, Bionorica continues to grow and is gaining market share across all its markets – while also reaching into new markets. Products are currently being introduced to India, and Michael expects staff growth to increase by 20–30% over the next few years.