Annette & Jürgen Pascoe since 2000
Innovation und Exzellenz im 21. Jahrhundert
44. In harmony
In the new millennium, Pascoe was benefitted by the ongoing trend towards natural medicine. “Now around 80 percent of the population favour natural remedies and locally manufactured products when they have a cold,” the MD Jürgen F. Pascoe emphasises. More and more people pay attention to effective and easily tolerated products when purchasing medicines. Natural medicines are especially favoured for colds, sleeping disorders, depression and migraine.
After the health reform in the year 2004, the insurance coverages for natural medicine were largely cut, necessitating a whole new marketing in order to draw attention to Pascoe. Leadership of the necessary measures was taken over by the present MD and marketing expert Annette D. Pascoe. The business economist and daughter of a bank director had entered the company in 2003 and has been married to Jürgen F. Pascoe since 2006.
Her hobbyhorse is still marketing, and so Mr. Pascoe refers jokingly to his wife as ‘foreign minister’ and to himself as ‘interior minister’. Dr. Birgit Wilrich withdrew from the company in 2004, while Inge Pascoe went to her office every day until she passed away in 2015, in order to participate in the development of the company.
«As our remedies stand for quality and safety, their effectiveness is proven and they are easily tolerated, our sales partners achieve excellent turnovers.» Jürgen F. Pascoe
45. Local roots, global presence
In order to meet the rapidly growing demand for vitamins and nutritional supplements, the company founded the subsidiary Pascoe Vital GmbH in 2002.
The logo newly developed in the year 2003 stands at the same time for the tradition of the company and its future orientation. A key step was the establishment in 2005 of the first foreign branch in Toronto/Canada. Vienna followed just a year later. Today the company earns around 40 percent of its turnover outside of Germany. The focuses of export lie in Europe, South America and Asia, whereby the infection substance Lymphdiarial was the first homeopathic medicine to receive an official approval.
In many countries of South and Central America, homeopathy has a long tradition, is recognised by the state and is part of medical training. Homeopathic medicines are officially listed and homeopathy is therefore also part of pharmacy training. “Medicines with the label Made in Germany have a high value especially in South America,” said company boss Jürgen F. Pascoe during an international natural medicine symposium in Gießen in 2012. “As our medicines stand for quality and safety, their effectiveness is proven and they are easily tolerated, the sales partners achieve excellent turnovers.” Today the company has 40 approved medicines in various South American countries.
However, success does not come just like that. A service network supports customer satisfaction worldwide. Whether it is further enquiries, direct marketing or events, all requests and tasks are processed quickly and comprehensively. The Pascoe services include a comprehensive advisory and further training programme for health practitioners, doctors and pharmacists, as well as information about natural medicine and alternative therapies.
To identify trends early on, Pascoe regularly conducts in-depth interviews in cooperation with the Rheingold Institute in Cologne. High-performance sportspeople also appreciate the quality and effectiveness of the Pascoe remedies. The company was the official supplier to the German national Olympic team four times: at the winter Olympics in Turin in 2006 and Vancouver 2010, as well as the summer Olympics in Beijing 2008 and London 2012, sportspeople used natural medicine from Gießen especially against colds.
46. Firm sight on the future
With a firm sight on the future, in 2016 Pascoe developed at the same time a new logo and a new packaging design. Fresh and green characterised the signature of the founding father Friedrich Pascoe and the founding year in numbers was to form the logo. Pascoe thus sought to honour the founding father and at the same time highlight the roots and therefore the longevity of the company. The new packaging with its high recognition value allows customers a better orientation, thus reinforcing trust in the brand. Treading new paths is part of the company philosophy of Pascoe. Pascoe successfully combines experience with a spirit of research and wealth of ideas. The manufacturing of natural remedies is embedded in a corporate culture that is characterised by social, ecological and sustainable ways of acting.
The company continuously developed into one of the leading providers of natural medicine worldwide. The products are now exported to more than 30 countries. Pascoe pursues a strategy of own production in this. The highly innovative and digitised production processes now allow the company to present itself as a sought-after contract manufacturer. The combination of the latest technologies, the promise of quality made in Germany and a wealth of creativity, coupled with a high degree of flexibility, set the company in good stead for the future.
The innovative character of the company is also reflected in the latest business model that is unique in the industry. In cooperation with the Technical University Mittelhessen in Gießen and a start-up company, Pascoe has been developing its first own cosmetics line since 2018. To do so, the company combines its own experience with plant-based essences and vitamins with findings from scientific research laboratories. All the natural cosmetics are certified and furthermore bear the dermatest seal.
Another novel feature in the already existing Pascoflorin product family is Pascoflorin immune introduced in 2019, a nutritional supplement with vitamin B12 and folic acid for supporting the immune system and biotin for maintaining normal intestinal mucosa. A further innovation in the same year was the introduction of a plant-based protein shake. Pascogracil serves as a meal replacement for a weight-loss diet on the basis of pea and rice proteins.
The end of the 2010s was characterised by many product launches that were developed and manufactured for the health of the people of our era.
47. Wide product palette
Today Pascoe has over 450 approved products and supplies customers in many countries of the world with its products. These include plant-based medicines, high-dose vitamin injection products, over 100 complex homeopathic substances, nutritional supplements and certified natural cosmetics. They are offered as liquids, powders, ointments, injections and tablets, and in the case of cosmetics as serums, creams and lotions. Products such as Neurapas balance, Pascorbin, Pascoventral etc. have been known among therapists and patients for many decades.
Owing to their good tolerability, they enjoy an excellent reputation. Other products have only been introduced in recent years and bear testimony to the very successful research work of the company.
48. Nearly 60 years of research and development
A dedication to natural remedies and scientific research is one of the success factors of Pascoe. The company has now carried out more than 100 studies and within these studies has documented over two million illness stories from patients. In the research department founded in 1961 of the Gießen natural medicine manufacturer, doctors and pharmacists study the effect mechanisms of natural medicines, in an ongoing dialogue with clinics, health practitioners and universities throughout Germany.
In the meantime, Pascoe invests around 15 percent of turnover in placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical studies. “Nowadays one can no longer convince people through the belief in effectiveness alone”, is how Jürgen F. Pascoe justifies the decision to invest continuously in research. For example, in a double-blind study in cooperation with the Königstein migraine and headache clinic, Pascoe refuted the assumption that homeopathic medicine has no effect. A reliable treatment with low side effects is demanded especially by parents. For this reason, Pascoe has over 70 medicines in its product range that have a special children’s dosage. A focus of the scientific work is on proving the effects of plant-based medicines. For example, Pascoe was able to show that a passionflower product achieves an effect after just 30 minutes.
Pascoe takes part on an ongoing basis in national and international research projects. For example, Pascoe has already worked with the Frankfurt University Clinic, the renowned Hohenheim and Tübingen Universities, as well as Queen’s University in Belfast. The research was, for example, on how the complex substances Lymphdiaral or Neurapas balance work. An expert team from the University of Texas Medical Brancah in Galveston, led by Prof. Dr. Daniel L. Traber, was looking in 2008 for ways to use the vitamin C high-dose product Pascorbin.
The renowned research partners in 2019 also included Dr. Busch, Dr. Simberg and Dr. Venturelli from Tübingen, Dr. Hagel from Erlangen, Dr. Pinter and Schencking from Frankfurt, Dr. Baer from Blankenstein, Prof. Wolzt from Vienna, Dr. Froemberg from Marburg, as well as Dr. Albiez, Dr. Preiss, Dr. Heman, Dr. Biesalski, Dr. Barthels, Dr. Rümmelin, Dr. Kurt Appel from Vicacell Biotechnology GmbH in Denzlingen, as well as the laboratories Biovis Limburg and Bio TeSys Esslingen.
Doctors and scientists surrounding Dr. Thomas Levy, the renowned US doctor and book author, provide a reminder of how decisive vitamin C is for combatting infections. Many basic chronic illnesses are due to a vitamin C deficiency in the population, which is intensified further during an infection and is particularly acute in pneumonia.
The many international contacts and research cooperations help the entrepreneurial couple and their employees to maintain openness towards unconventional treatments and a forward-looking vision.
49. Natural medicine opinion poll: the Pascoe studies
In close cooperation with the natural medicine expert circle initiated by Pascoe, consisting of natural scientists and medics from research, clinics and practice, the first Pascoe study was published in 2002 on the educational situation at German universities. The evaluation of the teaching at 36 human medicine faculties in Germany showed that natural medicine scarcely played a role in medical training. Pascoe repeated the survey in 2012: medical training still did not meet the growing demand for natural medicine in the population. There were now ten professorships for natural medicine. Topics such as rehabilitation, physical medicine and natural medicine were now part of the obligatory curriculum at university.
In addition, Pascoe had surveys carried out in 2004, 2007 and 2014 on the attitude of Germans to natural medicine. The result of the study of 2007 was that 81% of the population preferred natural medicine as their primary medicine. The lesser side effects compared to chemical products, as well as good tolerability, were the main reasons for the high acceptance, according to the survey.
The depth analysis study commissioned by Pascoe by the renowned Rheingold Institute in Cologne in 2014 confirmed the constantly growing popularity of natural medicine. This is based, for example, on the wish for more individual care, greater attention and a holistic approach. The survey in the year 2017 also carried out by the Rheingold Institute furthermore revealed that trust in traditional medics was continuing to decline and 74.3% of those questioned consulted Dr. Google to obtain detailed information. The studies showed Pascoe that patients wished for a greater supplementation of traditional medicine through natural medicine.
50. In a dialogue
For this reason, Pascoe encourages doctors and medical practitioners who would like to extend their knowledge in the field of natural medicine. “We support these efforts with our Pascoe Academy,” Annette D. Pascoe recounts. “With the webinars, we offer therapists an array of free events every year. Recognised speakers convey practice-orientated knowledge in these.” Customers also receive interesting information surrounding the topic of natural medicine and our remedies via the specialist magazines Acta Biologica and Naturmedizin im Spektrum, as well as the newsletter. Since 2016, there is the Pascoe Online Academy, where specialists as well as others can find out interesting facts on the topic of natural medicine. Detailed explanations, scientific information and notes on the use of medicines can be accessed by doctors, pharmacists and practitioners in a password-protected area. For pharmacists and pharmaceutical-technical assistants, there is also the possibility of consulting and training directly on site by a Pascoe employee.
The scientific advice hotline is a further service that is offered. In addition, the company regularly informs those interested about medical matters, as well as important health topics, furthermore offering a patient handbook with many self-help tips on everyday health concerns. At the same time, Pascoe provides support in the search for an expert for natural medicine or special natural remedy on the health portal www.naturheilkunde.de.
To be sure that the services offered also meet customer requirements, the company appointed TÜV Nord CERT GmbH to carry out a representative survey. The majority of questioned patients, doctors, health practitioners and pharmacists gave the best marks for competence, reliability, support and natural medicine expertise. Due to the excellent result of the survey, the Gießen traditional company received the certificate of proven service quality in 2012.
In order to be a present contact partner for people interested in natural medicine and Pascoe, Pascoe ensures a strong presence on social media. The high degree of attention, the interactions and the acceptance on social media channels also characterise the Pascoe employer brand. On Facebook alone there are currently over 400,000 followers. The number of followers is also continuously growing on Instagram. “The comments and evaluations on the portals are almost exclusively positive. These experiences are a confirmation of our corporate philosophy, in accordance with the law of attraction: ‘send out positivity and you will get a lot of positivity back’”, Annette D. Pascoe is happy to state.
«We are proud of being the first and only pharmaceutical enterprise worldwide to be FSC-certified since 2012.» Jürgen F. Pascoe
51. Pionier without paper
“Nature provides us with all the raw materials with which we manufacture our pharmaceuticals. It therefore goes without saying that we do everything we can to protect our environment,” Jürgen F. Pascoe emphasises. For this reason, Pascoe was the first pharmaceutical enterprise worldwide to organise and documents its development and manufacturing process completely without paper since 2005. With a new customer management system installed in 2009, all contacts have since been recorded, passed on and archived electronically by the employees. By 2010, Pascoe was thereby able to reduce paper consumption by 65 percent. In order to reduce the environmental burden further, as well as to motivate employees to come to work by bicycle, a parking area just for bicycles was set up at Schiffenberger Weg.
Pascoe also keeps firm tabs on water consumption: the toilet flushing within the company works with process cooling water. This saves around 500,000 litres a year, corresponding to the water volume of a medium-sized lake. When sending packages, employees exclusively use folded boxes made of recycled paper. Through the systematic reuse of sales packaging, Pascoe reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by around 60 tons in 2012. The company was awarded the Climate Certificate for this in 2013 by the organisation Duales System Deutschland 2013.
Furthermore, Pascoe now exclusively uses FSC-certified raw materials. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international certification system for forest management. It guarantees that wood and paper products with the FSC seal come from responsibly managed forests. “With the use of certified raw materials, we want to actively contribute to the preservation of forest ecology and the protection of endangered animal and plant species,” states Annette D. Pascoe. “We are proud since 2012 of being the first and only pharmaceutical company world that is FSC-certified.”
“To be able to work sustainably and at the same time be prepared for the future, the already implemented digitisation at Pascoe is constantly being developed further. The declared aim is to not only be ready for the future but to also actively shape it,” says Jürgen F. Pascoe. This is why employees accompany the introduction of new digitisation projects in their fields from the beginning and can thereby contribute their experiences. This gives them the possibility to develop themselves further in the process and extend their competences. Through the step-by-step procedure, employees gain confidence in the progressive digitisation.
52. In the spirit of holistic corporate management
The managing Pascoes would like to be a reliable employer for the around 200 employees. They therefore attach great importance to close cooperation between management and staff, a good work-life balance and an appreciative work atmosphere for each individual employee. The motto is: trust, openness and honesty. These behaviours are the central key for the motivation and loyalty of qualified employees, as well as for the economic success and future viability of the company. “Because it is only together that we can activate and fulfil our corporate goals,” Jürgen F. Pascoe knows.
It all started with the joint development of a vision/mission with all the company employees, which marked the beginning of a wonderful and forward-looking cooperation throughout all hierarchy levels. To give the new model a structure, in 2010 the company introduced a transparent strategy process incorporating all employees.
The basic model for the transparent strategy process is the St. Gallen Management Model. This comprises normative, strategic and operative aspects. Pascoe has developed this approach further in accordance with its own understanding of holistic company management. The Pascoe management model envisages that all employees are involved in the ongoing processes from the beginning in a structured and systematic manner and are provided with information. The result is highly motivated employees who are aware of their objectives and have contributed to their development and are prepared to take on responsibility in order to actively shape the future of the company.
Supervisors ensure that the corporate objectives are actively implemented and reflected on. Employees and the management meet on a monthly basis to talk about work and management conduct, performance targets and corporate plans. In addition, it is particularly important to the entrepreneurial couple to raise awareness among the employees of the purpose of each and every activity within the company, as well as of the fact that everyone is working together for people and their welfare, thereby bringing positive results.
Furthermore, Lean Management has been introduced at Pascoe in order to ensure the optimisation of processes. To be able to efficiently carry out individual projects, such as product launches, the Scrum method is applied and a specially devised future workshop additionally raises the innovation capacity of the traditional enterprise. Scrum is a complex method of project and product development. The procedure is also part of Lean Management. “The result is faster and visible results. With this we are still as cool as a start-up even after 125 years,” Annette D. Pascoe emphasises.
This approach is paying off. As a successful forger of ideas, Pascoe received the Top 100 award for innovation, knowledge development and team spirit in 2006 and 2010, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020. “Our good ideas and their rapid implementation are a decisive competitive factor for us. This is why we invest a lot of time and effort into our innovation management, valuing the wealth of ideas of all employees. It is a wonderful feeling to develop products with the power of many creative minds, which make the world a bit better every day,” Jürgen F. Pascoe states.
53. Corporate health management
For the entrepreneurial married couple Annette and Jürgen Pascoe, it goes without saying that a company that produces and sells health should also live by its own principles. They would like their employees to be and remain healthy. For this reason, the employee-orientated workplace culture includes a comprehensive health programme.
The corporate health management comprises measures for promoting physical health and strengthening the immune system, as well as for mental health. The respective measures are orientated towards the most common illnesses among employees in Germany. The palette of health-promoting measures ranges from height-adjustable desks to sports courses, massages at the workplace and presentations on natural medicine, as well as the daily provision of mineral water and fresh organic fruit.
The courses on offer, such as back therapy training and yoga, take place in-house to avoid additional travel time for the participants. Apart from the regularly held information events, there are health days at regular intervals on which everything exclusively revolves around the topic of health. These events repeatedly show the importance of various preventive measures for maintaining and promoting health, so that employees will also actively practice as many as possible of the suggested measures. In addition, the employees have a health card that contains all important information for leading a healthy life and offers the possibility of noting one’s own health-promoting activities. In addition to the already available electrically height-adjustable desks, in 2018 all employees received an individually adjustable ergonomic office chair. This special chair is an all-round talent with its saddle seat that allows work sitting, standing and comfortably leaning forwards (relieving the back) in a wide variety of positions. Because the second most common reason for work leave in Germany is skeletomuscular and back complaints. So that everyone can find the right chair position for themselves, every employee receives individual instruction by a specialist. If required, employees can have a vitamin C infusion administered by a doctor. Pascoe offers this opportunity on a weekly basis.
A good work-life balance is a very important factor for mental health, as Annette D. Pascoe is very aware of. For this recently, currently 57 working hours models serve the purpose of harmonizing professional requirements with the private needs of employees that change over time. In addition, core working hours have been disbanded, in order to offer employees the greatest possible time flexibility. “We have seen that employees whose life is in balance enjoy more satisfied, creative and successful work and lives. This is a good basis for our future,” Jürgen F. Pascoe emphasises.
For its commitment to employee health, in 2013 Pascoe received the “Gutes Beispiel GUH” (Good Example) award from the initiative Gesunde Unternehmen Hessen (GUH – Hessen Healthy Companies). Due to the comprehensive health management, the health rate of 50% has now been over the industry average for many years. Pascoe Natural Medicine received the ‘Betriebliche Gesundheitsförderung’ (Corporate Health Promotion) special prize for this in 2016.
Apart from health, employee satisfaction is very important to Annette D. and Jürgen F. Pascoe. “At Pascoe, everyone is allowed to be who they really are,” Annette D. Pascoe emphasises. For this reason, the entrepreneurial couple would like to reinforce strengths and give everyone the opportunity to contribute their full potential. For this purpose, all employees can have a personality profile compiled through Insights MDI. These strengths profiles allow us an overall insight into the complexity of human behaviour and development potential, including individual motivation factors. The profiles are regularly reflected on and discussed in team workshops, so that all employees gain a deep understanding of the different strengths of their colleagues. This approach strengthens the team spirit and fosters positive communication. Every employee who is deployed in accordance with their strengths develops a high degree of loyalty towards their tasks and the company. These are the best conditions for having successful employees on board. The use of a strengths analysis therefore has a long-term positive effect on the communication and team spirit among the employees, as well as on customer contact.
54. Commitment to the Gießen location
More than ever, Pascoe’s goal is to actively practice healthcare in every form even as a company. In the new building on Europastrasse opened in 2018, health therefore also plays a central role, because it has been created in the spirit of the Far Eastern teachings of Feng Shui. In the years before that, the interiors on Schiffenberger Weg had already been converted step by step according to the guidelines of harmony theory.
To ensure successful work and production, as well as the health of employees in the future production building, both the choice of location and the design of the building were made according to Feng Shui theory. A consulted building biologist also ensured that all the rooms have an excellent indoor climate. The particularly appealing and inviting design of the glazed entrance area was handled by an interior architect. An artist designed a magnificently colourful mural with a lush diversity of animals and plants, intended to reflect the paradisical environment at Pascoe.
What is unique about this building project is how it brings two worlds together: on the one hand the worldwide GMP guidelines (Good Manufacturing Practice), which are the official standards for pharmaceutical manufacturing practice, and on the other hand the Far Eastern design principles of Feng Shui. This creates a symbiosis that brings all aspects of being into harmony, which literally creates an aura: the released energies have a positive effect on people and on the pharmaceuticals. They are not only produced highly professionally but also harbour the healthy energies of the environment and people.
Andrea Stuhlsatz, interior architect: “the Pascoe couple wanted forms and colours that have a feelgood factor for employees, customers and everyone who spends time in the building. They are of the firm conviction that interior spaces influence people. I was strongly inspired by them in my work. They are exceptional people who set new standards and steadfastly tread new paths – in all areas of the company. The Pascoes are admirably committed to their employees. For example, I often hear them say: ‘Everyone is important here, so that we can all be successful together’, or ‘It simply has to be fun to work here.’
55. Pascoe is lauded as the best employer in Germany and Europe
The concept of holistic, sustainable and mutually appreciative company management has been proven successful time and time again. Every year, the management faces the challenge of the employee survey by Great Place to Work, whilst ensuring performance-orientated and forward-looking management.
For Annette D. and Jürgen F. Pascoe, the repeated award as one of the best 100 employers at “Germany’s Best Employer” nationwide company competition held by the Great Place to Work Institute is a very special success. The awarding of the accolade is decided on respectively by the employees of the more than 800 participating companies in Germany and 3000 companies in Europe. They are questioned about key workplace topics such as trust in the management, management behaviour, recognition, identification, professional development, team spirit and work-life balance.
The company has been lauded for around 10 years as one of the best German employers. In the years 2017, 2019 and 2020 it even ranked in 1st place. Pascoe can also be proud of itself on a European scale. The manufacturer of natural medicine has been voted among the top ranks in Europe by its employees a total of six times and in the anniversary year even achieved 1st place in Europe out of over 3000 participating companies. With this ranking, Pascoe Natural Medicine is in an excellent position for the future. In the year 2020, Pascoe was ranked 1st as the best employer in Europe. Jürgen F. Pascoe: “Changing perspective at any time, continuously reinventing oneself, questioning previous success factors, developing further and enjoying what one does ensure the future for us. The sharing of ideas and thoughts with our employees plays a decisive role in this. At our workshop of the future, we promote creativity and unconventional exchanges of ideas in order to create something new.”
Furthermore, in November 2019 Pascoe Natural Medicine was the first pharmaceutical company in Germany to receive the accolade of Sustainable Company. The ‘Sustainable Corporate Culture’ audit is an initiative of Neue Qualität der Arbeit (INQA – New Quality of Work) by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and is funded by them. “What is special about this audit is that it is supported equally by the trade unions, employer associations, the Federal Agency for Labour, the federation, the states and the Chambers. We are therefore very proud to have received the award given for the first time in 2019 after an 18-month auditing process,” Jürgen F. Pascoe enthuses.
56. 2020 – a year that makes history
Pascoe turned 125 years old. During this special year, the company received a special gift from its staff. They voted for their employer as the best in Europe!
The company was to experience this same year that this excellent employee culture and corporate foresight could hold their own. When the virus COVID-19 reached Europe and Germany in spring 2020, it changed the lives of many people. Due to the corona crisis, Pascoe also experienced an unprecedented reduction in its social and also in part its economic life. Thousands of employees in Germany had to switch to mobile work within hours. This shift and the excellent hygiene concept, including regular ventilation every hour and the division into different teams in the laboratory and production, ensured a smooth transition for the company to the new era.
Epochal change had begun. What had once started with Friedrich Pascoe at the pharmacy in Mülheim an der Ruhr, developed over the decades into one of the leading manufacturers of natural medicine. The company with activities in many countries around the world is growing, developing and researching with dedicated and highly motivated employees. New products, always adapted to people’s needs, are just as much a focal point of the company as widening its reach. The opening of a new production building, as well as the national and international recognition of the pioneering work in the field of vitamin C high-dose therapy have been the milestones in the recent history of the company.
Since 1895, the family-run enterprise has consistently succeeded in bridging tradition and innovation. It all started with Friedrich Pascoe’s inventive mind, which was succeeded by Fritz Pascoe, guided onto economically secure tracks by Inge Pascoe and made into an international brand by Jürgen F. and Annette D. Pascoe.
“We always have a firm focus on the goal of making the world a little better and healthier every day with our medicine,” the entrepreneurial married couple emphasises. “We shape the epochal change together with our employees and work towards the digital future with them. Because how successfully we make use of the opportunities of digitisation is not only a response to technology but also to the culture in our company. Finding a sense of purpose in one’s own work, using technology intelligently and doing everyday work with a positive attitude are opportunities that we are approaching with a modern and agile way of working.”