Motagon, a pharmaceutical company based in Prague, has been navigating the complex world of medical cannabis for more than two years. In addition to supplying premium varieties to the Czech market and abroad, it focuses on education and development. We talked to sales manager Filip Petrovic about the company’s milestones and new products.
It’s been a year since our last interview. Can you provide an overview of the key accomplishments and developments that Motagon has achieved in the Czech market and internationally during this time?
A year seems like a long time, but in the cannabis business things are moving very slow, especially with regards to legislation changes, so definitely the amount of work and effort we invested is significantly higher than the actual number of achievements. Nonetheless, ve are very proud that since our last interview, we were able to bring new products to the Czech market, including both flowers and extracts, as well as do a great deal on education of the healthcare professionals. From January, we have a new comprehensive website full of resources for both healthcare professionals and patients, and our international operations have kicked off, with first delivery to Poland in September and many registration processes in progress in our key markets.
You are well-known for your commitment to producing non-irradiated medical cannabis products. Can you explain the significance of this approach and how it benefits patients?
Quality is a top priority for Motagon. Since Czech regulations are very strict about medical cannabis, all of the supply currently available on the market comes from irradiated flowers, which is the easiest way to reduce the microbial load and satisfy the legal requirements.
However, Motagon‘s dedication for the core line of Motagon products to differentiate on quality by preserving the terpenes (compounds that get lost through irradiation) in cannabis flowers has sent us on a quest to find top-notch growers who are able to produce medical flower compliant to Czech requirements without using irradiation – and we have done it. There is a detailed explanation about why terpenes are important on our website (link), but in short – terpenes work in synnergy with major and minor cannabinoids and other compounds in cannabis to improve the therapeutic effect and reduce the side-effects.
In August, Motagon introduced a new product to the Czech market. Could you tell us more about this exciting addition to your product line, and how it addresses the needs of patients?
Unfortunately, since promotion of prescription medicine is prohibited by Czech legislation, I cannot provide any information to your readers. However, we have a special corner for healthcare professionals on our website where they can find information about all of our available and upcoming products, as well as news and medical research overviews.
As the Business Development Manager, can you share some insights into Motagon’s strategy for expanding its presence in the Czech market and potentially other international markets in the future?
We see the same problem across all markets where we have projects – lack of propper education of healthcare professionals and empowerment to be able to confidently prescribe medical cannabis as a proven, efficient and less harmful treatment option for many health conditions. Therefore, our strategy is to work closely with healthcare professionals, especially prescribing physicians, to use their insights and experience to be able to support them with relevant products and educational resources. Also, having a strong in-house regulatory team, we are able to efficiently navigate the ever-changing and unclear legislative environment in other European countries, where we have several ongoing registration procedures, which is going to be a significant secondary source of business for us.
In the last year, have there been any significant regulatory changes or challenges related to medical cannabis in the Czech Republic, and how has Motagon navigated them?
There haven’t been any significant changes recently (although major ones have been announced to come soon), but we are constantly finding ourselves in situations where the regulations are not perfectly clear or haven’t been put into effect before, like for the example of bringing medical cannabis flower from Australia to Czech republic. We are working closely with SUKL and the Ministry in situations like this and finding solutions together.
Patients’ needs and preferences can evolve. How does Motagon stay in tune with patient feedback and adapt its offerings accordingly?
We are constantly engaged in market research, primarily by listening to healthcare professionals and their experience and opinions, but also taking into account patients‘ needs and comments.
The modern age makes this much simpler, as many Czech medical cannabis patients (current and soon to be) are active online, on social networks, forums etc., where we are reading their feedback and comments. Also, we have so far had several round tables with Czech patients, learning about their needs and requirements firsthand, and have performed an extensive survey among hundreds of respondees, so I can confidently say we are armed with great insights.
Looking ahead, what are Motagon’s expectations and goals for the next year, and how do you envision the company’s role in the evolving landscape of medical cannabis?
We want to further establish our footprint in Czech Republic as our home market, and we want to do this primarily through closer collaboration with healthcare professionals – in a sense, effectively acting as an intermediary between patients‘ needs and the rules of play of the healthcare industry. We also expect significant progress in our key international markets, primarily Poland and Germany, where we are working with some of the top players on very big projects. In the end, we want to be able to measure our success by the recognition of Motagon as a brand, both by patients and healthcare professionals, which operates by the highest standards and brings top-quality products which cater to their needs.