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Phytopharmaceuticals are medicines with pure active substances that come from plants or parts of plants. The phytopharmaceuticals made by the Schwabe Group are administered in a manner consistent with science-based medicine, and these products must uphold the same standards as the ones that synthetic and chemical drugs do.
The Group’s phytopharmaceuticals must thus be officially reviewed and approved by the authorities. They have to be effective, safe and well-tolerated, and they also must have consistently high pharmaceutical quality. Another point that phytopharmaceuticals and chemical / synthetic drugs have in common is controlled clinical trials they undergo.
It takes eight to ten years for a plant-based drug to be developed — from the initial research into a plant to the clinical trials on humans all the way to official regulatory approval.
Every year, we invest over 30 million euros in R&D of new phytopharmaceuticals, such as ones for diseases of the central nervous system, the respiratory system or the gastrointestinal tract.
Phytopharmaceuticals are distinctive because of how they differ from chemical and synthetic medicines. Chemical and synthetic drugs generally have only one single active substance, or at most a few. This means that to a certain extent, if there are two chemical drugs that have the same active substance and comparable dosage forms at the same concentration, they are more or less interchangeable.
This is not true of phytopharmaceuticals, however. The herbal extract in a phytopharmaceutical consists of many different individual substances, and the positive effects arise from the combination of these substances. In other words, the extract as a whole is the phytopharmaceutical’s active ingredient.
Our extraction process reflects our history of more than 150 years of experience in manufacturing plant-based medicines. The complex equipment which has evolved in this period to perform the many phases of the extraction procedure is quite unique. To a great extent, it was constructed to comply with our own specifications. Schwabe’s expertise in every aspect of producing special extracts is unparalleled around the world. Comprehensive quality-control measures and meticulous monitoring allow us to guarantee that our extracts all attain the same high quality.
The quality of the plants used to make the medicine is of crucial importance when it comes to the quality of the extracts derived from the plant and, by extension, the drug made from the extract. The concentration of the active substance in a plant can vary depending on environmental and other factors involving how they are raised and harvested.
The specialists at the Schwabe Group carefully monitor the conditions at our plantations and our agricultural partners around the world.
Every step of the drug manufacturing process is in the hands of a single source — from planting the seedlings all the way to packaging the finished product. This approach guarantees the exceptional quality of our efficacious and well-tolerated medicines.
For over 150 years, the idea of providing everything from a single source has defined how we see ourselves, and that puts us in a unique position today. Offering everything from a single source ensures that we can create premium-quality phytopharmaceuticals
Company founder Dr. Willmar Schwabe first established pharmaceutical guidelines for manufacturing plant-based medicines in 1866. These guidelines formed the cornerstone for the quality-control criteria like the ones applied in many European countries today.
We raise the plants for our medicines at our own plantations so that we can ensure ideal growing conditions and controlled cultivation, resulting in a uniformly high quality in the raw materials.
Our medicines are tested in clinical trials to confirm their efficacy and safety. Controlled randomized double-blind trials, which are regarded as the gold standard in scientific analysis, are major components of our clinical research program.