The La Spezia company has been operating for 35 years in the maritime sector, supplying and replenishing pharmacies on board ships, yachts and platforms, both for new constructions and new layouts and to restore existing ones.
Farmacia Ghigliazza Mediterranean Medical Supplier, a company based in La Spezia founded by Paolo Ghigliazza, offers owners and captains specialised consultancy to define the type and optimal quantity of medicines and apparatus according to the requirements of the regulations governing ships and yachts. In detail, supplies include: medicines, sanitary material, emergency and medication articles and apparatus, surgical instruments, custom first-aid kits according to requirements and regulations, medical and electro medical furnishings and telemedicine and management system consultancy. The services, in the shipping sector, have been developed to meet new international provisions and regulations, such as MLC 2006, World Health Organization, International Medical Guide for Ships and the “Table C” provisions of the Italian Ministry of Health. In recent years, the company has also dedicated a division for supplies to yachts in line with the MCA MSN1768 regulations, to respect the high quality parameters in services and supplies that are obligatory for this sector. The company labels every individual package of medicines, with descriptions and doses in English, and assigns the reference code of the substance according to such international tables as Table C, WHO, MSN1768, Marshall Island and others.
The management system
“The various national and international regulations,” says John Clark, sales manager of Ghigliazza, “make it obligatory for sanitary supplies and related apparatus to be certified according to certain parameters, and must also be periodically checked. So starting from the principle that all yachts and passenger ships must have medical supplies in line with the regulations and the countries where they navigate, we offer a complete service of supply, management and verification that the medical supplies are correct and annual revision of their certification. The continuing growth of fleets and the complexity of the regulations have demanded specialisation in this sector. We are able to service, thanks to the management system and our dedication, the entire fleet of each shipowner. After about 35 years from our foundation, we can say we are the most important company in this market niche for the Mediterranean and, despite this, we continue to improve our offer and are continually seeking new customers.”
The services and supplies provided by Ghigliazza, which currently has eight employees, have reached every corner of the world, from Italy to northern Europe, from the United States to New Zealand passing through South Africa, China, Australia, Great Britain and South America, meeting the needs of the most important and well-known shipowners thanks to the efficiency and professionalism that distinguishes the company. For greater accuracy and to facilitate supplies, Ghigliazza has prepared a model in Excel format to manage inventory is on board so as to make the relationship with customers “interactive”: using the simplified form it is possible to have further information, in English, on the medicines, their active principles and the exact quantity required by the various regulations. This allows purchasing office staff to speed up the process and management of estimates and orders, so as to centralise and control with maximum efficiency what is being ordered.
The supply and control system of the pharmacy on board, using specifically developed management software, offers a correct procedure for verifying that individuals supplies for each client are in line with the reference regulations, making it possible to issue the Medical Chest Certificate which is required by law. In addition, for customers already in the management system, there is a notification service for the annual expiry of certification.
The services offered
“The aim of the company,” says owner Paolo Ghigliazza, “is to become the international point of reference for all companies that demand professionalism and timeliness in the management of the pharmacies on board their vessels. Our services and solutions designed to meet this need improve the quality of supplies, the knowledge of the end customer and the reliability of operators, thanks to continual and constant technical and professional support provided by our company.” Besides direct supplies and medicine labelling, the company can, on request from shipowners, verify the state of the pharmacy on board and issue the certificate and declaration the checks have been carried out. The company can verify orders in real-time, so as to dispatch supplies anywhere in the world using national and international couriers within 24 hours of receiving the request, according to the availability of products and the urgency. The procedure begins when a mail requesting information or supplies is sent: depending on the urgency and requirements the company formulates the reply or the offer within 24 hours. The offer is transmitted in two copies, in PDF and Excel format, so that it can be inserted in the various management systems used by purchasing offices. When an order is received it is scrupulously examined and, on the basis of the route and port included in the order, is dispatched in time for rapid and safe delivery so that it does not fail to reach the ship in the time requested. The documents accompanying the goods are sent to the shipping company that issues the order and also to the destination agency so that it can organise any loading procedures. The documentation, where countries require it, is sent directly in English to facilitate bureaucratic procedures.
Paolo Ghigliazza’s eyes light up when he presents to us his daughter Sara, currently owner of the family pharmacy, revealing that “she will shortly be involved in naval supplies, which she already handles to some extent, handling supplies relative to Drug Tests, bringing new vitality and new ideas for continuing to grow and confirming the company as a leader in this sector.”
A hotbed of ideas
“In recent years,” says John Clark, “we have maintained our competitiveness and successfully tackled the challenges that came along. Growing requests for shorter delivery times, strict and continually updated safety rules, the need to develop new ideas using more complex systems so as to satisfy the various international regulations have led the company to optimise and transform its operational processes, developing specific professionalism and services to satisfy customers who, especially in the shipping and yachting sector, are increasingly careful and demanding.”
This is why Farmacia Ghigliazza has decided to start a new service that merits a particular mention: soon the instructions for the medicines will be available in several languages, considering the various nationalities of shipowners and yacht crews and the differing origins of the staff and passengers of cruise ships.