The “Team Spotlight” series will allow you to meet one of Wells Pharma’s highly experienced experts. This professional/personal look will help you get to know who we are, and give an inside look at how our team members work to achieve our goal of becoming a market-leader in the 503B Outsourcing industry.
Chris Kirkes – Vice President of Sales & Marketing
What do you do at Wells Pharma?
As the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Wells Pharma, my responsibilities are to manage the sales process, develop and implement sales strategies, oversee the commercial aspects, build and manage the sales team, and work with our marketing team to make sure that the Wells story is told to the right people and communicates the benefits of working with us.
What do you like best about working with customers/clients?
Every customer is unique, with their own set of challenges, needs, and opportunities. Being able to solve their supply issues, or quality issues, or financial issues – and sometimes all three – and knowing that the patients that are in that hospital are a little bit better off because Wells Pharma is delivering the medications that they need, when they need it, is very fulfilling to me.
In your opinion, what value(s) do customers gain by working with Wells Pharma?
Our “Value Proposition” is based on our “5 Cs”: Confidence in Quality, Customer Service, Comprehensive Product Portfolio, Consistent Supply, and Competitive Pricing. These are all important issues to our customers, and we are driven to deliver on all 5 of them…every time! In an industry that has been mired by long delays (backorders), it is our ability to provide a reliable supply of safe medications that really sets Wells Pharma apart.
Why are you proud to work at Wells Pharma?
We are building something special here, and being able to have input into the direction that we are going, the way we do things, and the impact that we have on people’s lives is very fulfilling. Even seeing our building fill up with new employees, knowing that we are not only providing a useful and critical service for our customers but also employing more and more people, is very satisfying.
How do you support Wells Pharma’s mission and dedication to improving the health and safety of customer’s patients?
The quality standards that all 503Bs must follow are significantly higher than what the hospitals must follow, for good reason, and the Quality team at Wells Pharma is as good as it gets. We were recently inspected by the FDA, as 503B regulations require that ALL 503Bs are routinely inspected by the agency, and our inspection was virtually flawless. Wells Pharma had one minor “observation,” compared to 6 or more “observations” that most of our competitors have received.
We are extremely proud of our quality, and that pride and care goes deep into every product that Wells Pharma makes, which is, ultimately, used on somebody’s mom, dad, brother, sister, husband, wife, child or friend. What we do is important, and we do it extremely well.
What are the biggest challenges faced by Wells Pharma and its customers in the current healthcare environment?
The healthcare market is under immense cost pressure, but they are also faced with supply shortages which have a direct impact on their patients’ health. When a patient needs a certain drug, it is not a “luxury,” it is a necessity. Wells Pharma helps with that by reliably providing the needed drugs in a timely manner. Wells Pharma faces our own challenges as well, the primary challenge being awareness. We are relatively new to the 503B market, so we are growing our “reach” every day, and it is critical to us that we maintain the standards that we have set for ourselves: To reliably provide a high-quality (i.e. safe) product at a fair price. However, since the products that we produce use the same components that our customers have trouble acquiring (drugs, syringes, bags, etc.), we face many of the same supply shortages that our customers have. In many cases though, we have the resources and expertise to acquire those “raw materials” on a more reliable basis.
What is the one lesson you’ve learned in the industry that has helped you most?
The importance of the 503B outsourcers. The most obvious example is the role that the 503B industry played during the early days of the COVID crisis. We were able to provide desperately-needed drugs at a time when the drug manufacturers were unable. However, the 503B industry has always been a key contributor to our healthcare industry. We provide high-volume drugs that are safe, reliable and ready-to-use, freeing up the hospital pharmacy to use their resources for clinical benefits, instead of spending time and money compounding all of their medications themselves.