Five minutes with Dr Craig Recatto, President – Pharmacy Division, Spectrum Chemical – DCAT Week ‘18
PH: Please describe what Spectrum does.
Recatto: Spectrum has been in this business since 1971 in the manufacturing, research and pharmacy compounding markets. We have over 1,200 USP items and these are used in multiple markets, including pharma and prescription compounding. It is still a family-owned company. Our founder Paul Berg has now retired and taken a step back, and his son Randy has taken over as CEO and president. We want to be known as the premier family company in this field.
PH: You are not a typical DCAT Week company – do you come every year?
Recatto: I have come for at least the past 15 years, we sponsor the dinner speaker so we are very much invested in DCAT Week. It is a great opportunity for us. We are here to meet both customers and suppliers, because we are always looking for new suppliers and even multiple suppliers of products. Even if we are not the primary source, we are happy to help our customers qualify secondary source requirements. These days, a lot of overseas companies get inspected by the FDA and decide that they are not going to service the US market. Spectrum will always be on top of that to try to help our customers.
PH: Is that a big growth driver for you?
Recatto: Absolutely, it is our single biggest growth driver – it is the uniqueness of Spectrum that we can service multiple markets with the same products. It’s a powerful combination.
PH: Is pharma your main market?
Recatto: It’s the one we address most effectively. On the lab chemicals side, we are very much known for quality products. All areas of Spectrum continue to grow. We are also looking for growth overseas and it has been very successful. We have an office in Shanghai and a QC laboratory where we can test products before bringing them here. We are also working in Europe and the Middle East through local distributors. Central and South America and Canada are traditionally strong for us. And Asia – though Japan is tougher to crack. But there is still plenty of growth to be had here in the US.
PH: Your most recent news has been an agreement to distribute some of BASF’s platinum-supported catalysts in the US. Is that a significant move for Spectrum?
Recatto: Yes, it is. It will be mainly on the research and discovery sides. We will work with them more as our customers’ needs grow. It’s a testament from BASF in terms of quality; they don’t lend their name to just any company.
PH: What else are you focusing on?
Recatto: Our other big focus has been on pharmacy compounding. This was traditionally a big business for us. We sold this to Harvard Drug Company in 2010 and were not allowed to compete in this space until 2015. Now we have returned to the market and we have also built a 42,000 ft2 distribution and education centre next door to our main facility in New Brunswick, New Jersey. This is used mainly for training pharmacists, which is important because compounding pharmacy is not taught to them so much these days. It has full ISO Class 7 and 8 cleanrooms, a non-sterile lab where we teach them to make creams, capsules and so on, a sterile lab for sterile compounding and a special unit where we teach them to handle hazardous materials. We’re very proud of this and we are continuing to look for expansion opportunities in the vicinity.