Boiron Canada Inc.

Part of an international brand of homeopathic health products
Written by: 
Jeanee Dudley
Produced by: 
Forrest Lancaster

What began in France as a manufacturer of homeopathic remedies in 1932 has grown into an international business. Boiron Canada Inc. is the Canadian arm of Boiron Inc. and serves the wellness needs of consumers throughout Canada. Janick Boudazin, president and CEO of the company’s Canadian and U.S. operations, has been with the business for more than 20 years. He has seen enormous growth over the years, working with a dedicated team to maintain a strong brand identity through product integrity.

“Boiron has been in the United States for 32 years and in Canada for 28,” says Boudazin. “It’s a fascinating business. I started out working for the company in France, where twin brothers, Jean and Henri Boiron – both pharmacists – founded Boiron. Boiron is publicly traded on the French Market now the parent company’s sales reached around 609 million euros in 2014. It has been a fantastic adventure and we are still a family business. The CEO is Christian Boiron and throughout 50 countries where our products are distributed, there are 3,800 employees and 18 subsidiaries.”

A natural approach to health

Boiron is one of the world’s largest homeopathy companies and continues to expand every year. The business’ strong history in the industry contributes significantly to brand recognition and maintaining a reputation with consumers for quality.

Much of Boiron’s success can be contributed to its origins. In France, pharmacists and doctors developed homeopathy. Today, Boudazin says that according to a 2012 survey, 56 percent of the French population uses homeopathic products for wellness and 25 percent of physicians in France utilize these remedies on a daily basis.

In North America, there is still work to be done in the homeopathic market. In Canada, the company has 50 employees with a distribution hub in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, outside of Montreal. In the United States, the business employs 120 people with distribution locations in Newton Square, Pennsylvania, and Simi Valley, California.

“In Canada overall we can speak to anybody – the consumer, doctors, online communities,”  says Boudazin. “We continue to increase our business in Canada and a big challenge is to educate doctors in alternative health. It requires persistence, but the timing is good right now. There is an aging population and homeopathy has all the ingredients for success; it is efficacious, has no drug interaction, and it is affordable and safe.”

“In alternative medicine, we see our product playing a growing role in wellness in the U.S.,” he adds. “We offer ecological medicine. Most sources are from plants and we take pride in respecting ecology. For example, Arnica can only be harvested for one month in the mountains. We make sure it survives and thrives.”

A diverse product offering

Over the last 25 years, many things about the homeopathic industry have changed. While the industry has faced some controversy, Boudazin says  his team has never had so many consumers and doctors using and recommending its products. “It is affordable and safe,” he explains.

“In Canada we have Coryzalia for colds, which is recommended by doctors,” he continues. “The customer or the doctor likes it because it works and is low-risk. We also have Camilia, a product that is the No. 1 recommended brand for baby teething among pharmacists from Quebec, at 41 percent compared to 37 percent for Tylenol, according to Profession Santé and Pharmacy Practice+ 2015 Survey on OTC Counselling and Recommendations. Our products are regulated by Health Canada here and by the Food and Drug Administration in the USA.”

Another popular line is Boiron’s Arnicare which consists of Arnicare Gel, Cream and Tablets that are indicated for muscle and joint pain and help with bruising and swelling. “People over 65 want to live better, longer and naturally,” notes Boudazin. “If you exercise and you have pain soreness, this is a natural analgesic. It is in the top 10 of that category in use, according to IRI data. Now you can find this at Wal-Mart. It has gone beyond the natural market channels and becoming more available.”

Boiron continues to develop new natural products. Oscillococcinum, a product that has been available in Canada since 1989, is a medicine for the relief of flu-like symptoms, such as body aches, headache, fever and chills. “In 2014, we have decided to focus on Oscillococinum and to invest more in promoting this brand,” says Bouzadin. “It started with a packaging restage. The new packaging is bigger, the information is well organized and there is a clear focus on the indication and benefits. They are well adapted to mass-market.”

Boudazin and his colleagues are working to expand exposure of the line throughout the U.S. and in Canada as well as a line of homeopathic cough syrups for adults and children.

Continued growth

The health industry is in a period of diversification. Boudazin and his team have seen trends move from exclusively conventional medicine to integrating more products like Arnicare which can be used to treat common muscle and joint pain.

“As a pharmacist, I like to provide the right advice,” says Boudazin. “We want to give a chance to every doctor and practice to integrate homeopathy. It is a fascinating project as I believe in the product and that it works. A challenge of the industry is to have homeopathy in hospitals. In the U.S., Boiron has a presence in more than 100 hospitals and we want to reach out Canadian hospitals to integrate homeopathy. There are a lot of opportunities in the health care industry.”

Boudazin and his team continue to put out information, working to recruit more doctors and end users for the company’s strong line of homeopathic products. Over the coming years, Boiron Canada Inc. will see sustained growth throughout the country.

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