The group. Boiron is diversifying to compensate for the effect of the delisting of homeopathy since January 1, 2021. Tonight it is inaugurating the new premises of the start-up Abbi, a specialist in bespoke cosmetics. But it is above all the Covid self-tests, which support the activity.

This evening in Sainte Foy-lès-Lyon, the general manager of Boiron will inaugurate the headquarters of Abbi, a cosmetics startup that she has just bought. This is a turning point in the history of the world leader in homeopathy.

Boiron is the specialist in tubes of homeopathy granules. A very nice family business.

But since Agnès Buzyn's decision to de-reimburse this type of treatment, deemed ineffective, this large Lyon SME, 2,800 employees, has been shaken. Its leaders and the family of its founders, the Boiron brothers, are still confused.

They talked a lot with their German counterparts. Across the Rhine, homeopathy is poorly reimbursed, but all decisions are taken in consultation with manufacturers. What we could have done in France, by making sure, for example, that IT, support by the mutuals that offer it remains easy.

Following this delisting, what share of turnover did Boiron lose?

After the delisting of a drug, in general, its sales decrease by 40 to 60%. Homeopathy lost 42%. For Boiron it was 180 million euros in lost revenue. Its operating profit, around 80 million, could have turned into a loss of the same amount. But ultimately that was not the case.

Valérie Poinsot, the general manager, took the lead: the Montrichard factory - former Dolisos factory - in the Loir-et-Cher, was closed, with a social plan. The price of granule tubes has increased and its teams have embarked on the search for innovations.

These new markets have already brought in 50 million euros and enabled the group to keep its head above water. Abbi, this start-up you were talking about, which analyzes your skin using a connected mirror and concocts a tailor-made skincare cream, is one of them. But it is not she who brings in the money.

What is it then?

These are the Covid tests. Valérie Poinsot had the idea very early on of joining forces with another start-up NG Biotech, which specializes in self-tests to produce them in large quantities. It also distributes selected Asian manufacturers.

In the end, social security may have saved a hundred million euros by de-reimbursing homeopathy, but it has opened up, with Covid tests, a market that will cost it billions of euros…

And what's on the front page of L'Obs this week?

“The Mélenchon hypothesis” on a beautiful turquoise blue background. And I recommend to you, in economics, Dominique Nora's investigation into the relentless gear which, since the Covid, has driven up the price of paper.