Twenty-one years and counting. Meet Head of Norameda – Audrius Leiva

Twenty-one years and counting. Meet Head of Norameda – Audrius Leiva

Audrius Leiva, General Manager of Norameda, remembers the beginning of his career at the encounter of two decades with a smile. It was a thrilling and challenging time for a young professional. Despite family tradition, medical graduate had embraced a different path.

“After Lithuanian independence was restored, everything seemed to be bubbling around. So many opportunities, possibilities and different ways to move forward. Not so many of us from Vilnius university Medical studies had chosen to become a doctor, others jumped to explore new opportunities in a changing world” – says A. Leiva. 

Pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim seemed like an ideal workplace for a young man: “To be a medical representative in the pharmaceutical company was quite fancy: reasonable salary, dynamic work with a lot of new opportunities and things to learn – so it seemed like a dream job at the time”. 

And it was. Six years in the company starting as a Medical Representative, latter as OTC Product Manager and Business Development Manager. Finally, a new career turn as Norameda came into the picture with exclusive distribution rights of Pharmaton products (Boehringer Ingelheim group company) and A. Leiva in charge. 

“It was only four of us back then in 2000. And to be honest, the first decade was a real challenge, – remembers Audrius. – But hard work and persistence have finally paid off. Now we are among leading pharmaceutical companies working in such partnership model in the region” 

One of the biggest challenges, according to Norameda leader, was to manage the rapid company growth. Also to adopt company structure, quality and processes to pharmaceutical market requirements – is constantly changing and becoming more complex, more regulated. 

“Today is more about the knowledge than marketing. And I like it. You need to have strong know-how on the markets, competence in medical science, and comply high industry standards ” – pinpoints A. Leiva. 

“The number of partners grew – the team was growing consequently. I was lucky to get the right people to join Norameda. People are the most important part of our success. The joint effort brought in revenue and further growth.” 

Looking back, A. Leiva says he never regrated his choices. “I feel comfortable. My work excites me. I love the challenges. I love the process. Ambitions and results drive me every day, – says A. Leiva. – And I don’t want to sound cheesy, but it is also good to know you are changing people’s lives. Our business is more than just money and profit.” 

Talking about the future, A. Leiva is optimistic. He believes that local experts are, and will remain, in need, especially in smaller markets. 

“International companies tend to operate in larger markets and are looking for the local partners in smaller ones – says A. Leiva. – Deep knowledge of the local market, competence, experience and wide range of contacts should remain as big values. And this is the exclusive feature that puts Norameda in front of the others.”

Currently, 32 companies from 17 countries partner with Norameda.

Special Care Medicine Department: “Every single life matter”

Special Care Medicine Department: “Every single life matter”

“Sales are important but no more than people we work for or with. And I am confident, this is the main factor of our success”, – says Sandra Ivanauskiene, founder and leader of the Norameda Special Care Medicine Department since 2017.

This unique Norameda’s division is dealing with specific diseases, some of which are extremely rare. For example, Alpha-mannosidosis – only 3 patients have been diagnosed in Lithuania.

Alpha-mannosidosis is a rare genetic condition characterized by an inability to properly break down certain groups of complex sugars in the body’s cells. The accumulation of sugars affects many of the body’s organs and systems, including the central nervous system.

The Norameda Special Care Medicine Department, in cooperation with the Center for Coordination of Rare Diseases at Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos, managed to secure the treatment of Alpha-mannosidosis.

And the most amazing part – all three patients are getting treatment paid by the State.

“As soon as the medicine is registered and delivered to the warehouse – this is when our work starts. And it is so diverse! – tells S. Ivanauskiene. – At the same time, you might be negotiating with National Health Insurance Fund clerks, discussing the benefits of the medicine with doctors, and replying to the letter of sick child parents regarding the transportation to the hospital.”

The Norameda Special Care Medicine Department is actively working with 3 main areas: rare diseases, neurology and neonatology.

“We provide medicines for preterm infants suffering from respiratory distress or apnea and at the same time introducing a new generation medicine for those with Parkinson. So every day is different, exciting and, most importantly, very fulfilling”, – says S. Ivanauskiene.

S. Ivanauskiene is known as the pioneer of special care medicine in Lithuania. Advocacy for patients’ lives she considers as her main purpose. She says that each patient treated – is a driving force that gives the meaning of everything their division works for so hard.

“Still, no matter how we care for our patients, ethics are at the top of our agenda. We have to be persistent as well as very patient and delicate in our actions”, – says S. Ivanauskiene.

By finishing up the conversation, the leader of the Norameda Special Care Medicine Department resumes: “every live matter, so each patient has to receive proper treatment, each doctor has to be engaged, motivated and informed. And if Norameda gets to be an accelerator, so let it be”.

“Also, we have to give a credit to the Lithuanian health system – it is among the best and most advanced in Europe. Just imagine getting a state-funded treatment only for 3 people out of 3 mln! Or paying for top-notch medicine for those with Parkinson.”