VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — The creation of Nestle Skin Health S.A., a business unit of Nestle, extends the companies reach into the health category. On Feb. 11, the company announced plans to take over 100% ownership of Galderma from L’Oreal S.A.. Galderma is a global company solely focused on dermatology and previously the two companies had a 50% stake in the firm.
“Nestle Skin Health will have a broad commercial and R.&D. platform able to deliver state-of-the-art solutions focused on maintaining, treating and restoring the health of the skin,” said Paul Bulcke, chief executive officer. “The new company will be particularly effective working across different trade channels to help people meet their skin health needs at a time when access to medical care is getting more challenging due to resource constraints.”
On Feb. 13, in a conference call to discuss the company’s most recent financial results, Mr. Bulcke expanded on his view of the company’s health platform, which now includes Galderma and the Nestle Health Science business, which was formed three years ago.
“We are about enhancing the quality of life,” he said. “We have said we want to be the nutrition, health and wellness company. And we have focused on our food and beverage business and we have brought the whole nutrition and wellness dimension into many areas.”
He added that Galderma, like Nestle Health Science, is a R.&D. driven business.
“I see an upside there in the sense of knowledge gives answers,” he said. “Answers give solutions. Solutions are valuable, profitable growth platforms. That is what we see in this whole extending the boundaries of health and wellness through Galderma.”
The entry into skin health potentially takes Nestle into the realm of prescription-based medical solutions, but Mr. Bulcke said the company is not going to shy away from that aspect of the medical market.
“There is indeed quite an important part of that business (Galderma) that is done by prescription,” he said. “We don’t have a strategy that says we want to stay out of prescription. Prescription is a platform. It’s a way of getting to serve some specific needs that need some professional assistance, and that’s what prescription is about.
“Well, actually, it is the best expression of some proprietary, more deeper science-driven and science-based innovation potential. So the same thing is going to happen with Nestle Health Science, where we’re going to have a prescription dimension or channel.“Somebody who has to have a prescription treatment for his skin is a consumer, and we want to be part of enhancing the quality of his life. So I see that totally compatible with the science-driven, R.&D.-driven mindset of this company.”