The notion of good health is increasingly connected to addressing external wellbeing. Meti Zhabjaku, CEO of Sanico, explains how his innovative  pharmaceutical company has contributed to the Italian wellbeing, health and beauty sectors for close to 60 years.

Remaining in business for almost 60 years is a significant accomplishment requiring consistent effort, resilience and flexibility. Competition due to changing market conditions, economic downturns, keeping pace with technological advancements, complying to regulatory changes and retaining staff are challenges which can easily test the resolve of any company. 

Ever-present within the pharmaceutical, orthopaedics and health sectors since 1964,  Milan based Sanico, a leading Italian pharmaceutical organisation, owes its longevity to strong leadership, innovative products which reflect consumer demand and an overwhelming passion to improve both the physical and psychological health of the nation.  Meti Zhabjaku, CEO of this thriving supplier and distributor gives us an insight into his successful organisation.

Having led Sanico for nearly 30 years, and being instrumental in its growth, it’s clear that the company has a wealth of dedicated expertise behind it. Could you tell us a little bit about the early days of Sanico and its original aims?

Sanico does indeed have a rich history of innovation and continuous development. The company was co-founded by my father in 1964 with a view to distributing niche pharmaceutical products and developing a strong network within the pharma, orthopaedic and beauty sectors. At that time the company had 12 agents covering pharmacies across the country. Today Sanico has a team of 100 individuals who work together to market approximately 20 different brands and product ranges from health and beauty to preventative medicine and personal care. 

As a family based business Sanico must have been very influential in forming your career, yet it’s fair to say that you have an impressive background in both research and development as well as successful collaboration with global brands. Could you highlight the notable elements of your career journey for us?

Studying within the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery at Milan University I devoted the last two years of my Masters’ programme to collaborating with two major Italian pharmaceutical companies as a medical scientific representative. 

Having gained this experience I started working for Sanico in 1980 establishing a division of medical representation in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. From here I became interested in commercial sales, which following a further Master’s degree of study in Taiwan, I then began to start projects relating to electro-medical devices with an American company named Lumiscope. From here, I collaborated with specialist R&D laboratories in both Italy and Taiwan to develop products to meet consumer demand. The development of the sales network led to me having a total coverage of the Italian market, researching and developing, as well as distributing products related to health and preventative care. 

Since becoming CEO in 1995 the sector has had to respond to great technological change and increasing demand for high calibre equipment. Sanico have an established reputation for the production and supply of its own branded products, and are a recognised distributor of InvernessMed ear piercing, which brings almost 400.000 mothers and children to the pharmacy each year.

Leading on more specifically to the products and services offered, which would you say are the most popular?

Sanico have a vast product range spanning many areas of healthcare.  For the beauty and jewellery section, the InvernessMed is an industry leader. This innovative ear piercing system is safe, sterile and gentle, and uses pre-sealed hypoallergenic earrings. In addition, our Biojoux range of earrings is a comprehensive collection of beautiful jewellery, designed for all ages and occasions, whilst being kind to the skin. The Biojoux line also includes non-toxic silicone bracelets.

In terms of medical devices and equipment, again we have an extensive array of equipment for home use. These include blood pressure gauges and monitors, digital pulse oximeters, and thermometers but also span the whole orthopaedic remit of belts and supports for stomachs, backs, knees, elbows, wrists, etc.  We’re also extremely proud of our ergonomically designed trainers, shoes, clogs and sandals which are durable, hygienic and comfortable.

For a pharmaceutical organisation, the need to respond to the immediate demands posed by a global pandemic must have immensely challenging. How did Sanico adapt to such an unprecedented situation?

Coronavirus heavily impacted all sectors of industry, but here at Sanico we had to ensure that medical equipment could be provided to those in need as quickly as possible. We also developed anti Coronavirus products both for individual and commercial use, and will continue to provide masks, visors, sanitisation equipment, thermoscanners and hydroalcoholic hand gels. In April 2020, as a manifestation of thankfulness, Sanico donated 10.000 ffp2 masks to Federfarma Milano-Lodi-Monza, in a moment of emergency and difficulty.

And finally, in your opinion, what would you say are the stand out reasons for Sanico’s success? 

Apart from being flexible and adaptable to changing markets, I do firmly believe that our core values lie at the cornerstone of our success. We genuinely care about the health and wellbeing of our nation, and therefore our aim is to continually develop products and services which help people feel better physically and psychologically. I would also like to add that Sanico remains committed to providing a personal family touch. Milan based Sanico are industry leaders in the supply and distribution of medical-health products for beauty, wellbeing and health to pharmacies, orthopaedic outlets and health care systems. For full descriptions on the entire range of Sanico products, up to date information and interesting blog articles on the use of individual items, please visit the company website: