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Social issues such as access to medicines for all patients are important for the entire pharmaceutical industry. As far as the safety of these medicines is concerned, CHEPLAPHARM's business model is associated with comparatively low risks due to its long-standing positive track record. We market our diversified portfolio of around 150 products in 145 countries worldwide. As a result, we help health-impaired people with a wide range of indications, including rare diseases. One third of our medicines are on the WHO's "essential medicines list" and are therefore considered essential globally.
Our highest priority: The quality and safety of our products
CHEPLAPHARM supplies pharmaceutical products to millions of patients around the world and fulfils this responsibility sustainably by providing safe and reliable products. For this reason, our company currently employs more than 100 people in its own quality assurance department. Responsibility for quality assurance lies with the Director Quality and CMO at the second management level and with Dr Bianca Juha on the Executive Board. Regular safety audits are a matter of course for us. This pays off: In the 2022 financial year, our recall rate was 0.00%.
Furthermore, in the 2022 financial year, the relative number of complaints in relation to the number of batches released was reduced from 8.6% to 7.6% compared to the previous year. The introduction of new software is planned in order to further reduce the average processing time of 22 days in 2022 (the average target is 30 days).
The number of internal deviations from defined processes was also at a very low level at CHEPLAPHARM in 2022. Last year, we recorded a total of 179 deviations (2021: 115), which corresponds to a rate of 0.02% in relation to the number of batches released.
Recruiting, retaining and training talent regardless of gender, origin, religion or other characteristics is fundamental to us. As our organization is constantly growing, we created an independent department for targeted HR and organizational development at the beginning of 2023.
We want to create a family-friendly working environment for our employees. Part-time models, flexible working hours and mobile working are a matter of course for us in order to facilitate the work-life balance. It is also important to us to promote talented and motivated employees and at the same time to retain them. In addition, we prepare our employees specifically for management positions by offering them leadership training. We enable our female employees to participate in a mentoring program for women in business run by the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. As a result, we currently have a 55% share of women compared to an average of 45% in other pharmaceutical companies in Germany.
As a company with a highly scalable asset-light business model, CHEPLAPHARM has outsourced the manufacturing of its products to a diversified network of more than 125 CMOs and suppliers. Therefore, quality and safety along our supply chain is of utmost importance to us. After carefully selecting our suppliers, they are evaluated at regular intervals.
In 2022, 88 suppliers were assessed by our qualified quality assurance professionals and could only be classified in the two highest classification categories. In addition, 72 suppliers were audited by independent auditors (2021: 37), which corresponds to an audit rate in relation to the total number of suppliers to be qualified of around 35% (2021: 21%). No critical deficiencies were identified in any of the audits conducted in 2022.
To get a picture of the risk potential of our supply chain, we again surveyed our Tier 1 suppliers on environmental and social issues in 2022. Measured against the suppliers' purchasing volume, the following findings emerged: