From industry sceptic to industry champion

From industry sceptic to industry champion

Nigel Pollard, CEO of Soho Flordis International (SFI), Flordis Australia’s parent company, wasn’t always a believer in the healing properties of medicinal plants. “In the beginning, I was sceptical about natural medicines,” he admits. “I have a background in biochemistry and pharmacology, and was working in the pharmaceutical industry in Germany before I entered the world of natural medicine.”

The turning point came when, while working in Germany, a doctor prescribed a natural medicine for his sinusitis. “The label was in German, so I didn’t know what it was initially,” he recalls. “But it worked extremely well, so I began researching the scientific evidence behind the product – which, it turned out, was substantial.”

This experience played a pivotal role in opening Nigel’s mind to the therapeutic potential available through natural medicines; ultimately paving the way for the company’s inception – as well as the therapeutic ‘functional medicine’ model Flordis advocates.

Natural medicine

“As opposed to going into a supermarket and taking a product for a lifestyle reason, we advocate taking a natural medicine to address a specific condition or issue.” Nigel explains.

Which is why most places where you find a Flordis product on sale, you will also find a trained health professional on hand. “Our products are real medicines, designed for health issues and should be treated accordingly,” he says. “Illness is a whole person issue, and having a healthcare professional involved in the overall treatment plan is important. We believe it’s vital for patients to have a trusted advisor who can see the big picture.”

Health professionals can help patients understand that not all natural medicines are created equally, Nigel points out. “Our products are not interchangeable with others. Other products which include the same plant ingredient will not necessarily have the same therapeutic or effective result.”

The company’s meticulous Seed to patient journey is integral to the authenticity of the products - a process based on a rigorous scientific approach that helps to ensure batch-to-batch consistency to ultimately give consumers the confidence that each Flordis product has been specifically and clinically researched to work.

This strategy also includes an educational approach to patient care. “We want to educate people on the clinical evidence behind our products. Having people buy our products with the help of trained health professionals who understand that not all natural medicines are the same, is an important step in this process,” Nigel explains.

“We have specific criteria when we assess new products. These criteria review where the plant is grown, how it is harvested, processed, manufactured and how the end product is formulated – as well as the strength of clinical evidence behind it.”

Evidence base

For fifteen years, Flordis has been dedicated to the development of specifically clinically-proven natural medicines – and accordingly, all of the products in the company’s portfolio have a clinical evidence base. This ‘quality-not-quantity’ strategy is key to the brand’s success and vision; ensuring that only products which pass its stringent scientific and quality control criteria, qualify to enter the pipeline.

“We have specific criteria when we assess new products. These criteria review where the plant is grown, how it is harvested, processed, manufactured and how the end product is formulated – as well as the strength of clinical evidence behind it.”

Only when it ticks all of the boxes does an extract or product have the potential to sit in the Flordis portfolio.

“We also undertake clinical trials on products and extracts which show potential, to clinically test their efficacy and investigate the benefits they might be able to provide in other therapeutic areas. In fact, we have a number of clinical trials taking place in Australia now,” Nigel says.

Identifying potential therapeutic natural medicines and expanding each product’s scientific evidence base is a key strategy for the company. Flordis is committed to its specific and clinically proven scientific approach and to educating consumers on the importance of clinical evidence and product consistency in natural medicines.

“It does take time to change the way people see natural medicines – but it is of inherent value for the consumer,” Nigel says.

“We believe it’s the future of natural medicine.”

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