Luis Valdés
General Manager
SARSTEDT México
/
View from the Top

Innovation Offers Unique Value in Pre-Analytical Processes

By Antonio Gozain | Mon, 01/10/2022 - 13:47

Q: What added value does SARSTEDT offer to the Mexican health industry?

A: SARSTEDT’s core business is clinical diagnostic. In the pre-analytical phase, we offer a unique dual system for blood collection that combines the aspiration technique and the vacuum technique, enabling users to safely and efficiently take samples. Before the traditional vacuum blood collection system was implemented, blood samples were obtained via syringes, with the advantage of a gentle technique – aspiration - but they are limited usage since they lack of chemical preparation and are not suitable for modern automated analyzers thus blood samples need to be transferred to a prepared vacuum tube to be analyzed, this common practice may cause hemolysis in the sample.

The vacuum tube solves this problem. However, vacuum technique is not suitable for every patient. This method puts some pediatric, geriatric and those suffering from certain specific pathologies at risk because their veins are so delicate that may collapse. In such cases, syringes and other open techniques, such as capillary blood sampling, are used but they compromise the sample, the patient and the user.

SARSTEDT’s unique system eliminates these risks. Our solutions make the entire process more efficient and eliminate the need to waste samples, which saves time and money. Our cost-benefit solution optimizes the blood-taking process and provides savings for laboratories and hospitals. A successful pre-analytical phase makes the entire process more efficient and avoids double expenditures.

Q: What does SARSTEDT’s client portfolio in Mexico look like?

A: In Mexico, our client portfolio focuses mainly on the private sector because IMSS and other public institutions rely on basic lists of drugs and medical equipment. We applied to enter those basic lists in August and we are pending a resolution from the Health Council. Our submission included a complete cost-benefit analysis for the Council to make the best decision. We constantly collaborate with the Ministry of Health, which follows the same specific regulations.

Q: Where does SARSTEDT manufacture the products it commercializes in Mexico? Is there a plan to open a manufacturing facility in the country?

A: Between 90 to 95 percent of the products we sell in Mexico are directly manufactured in Germany. The remaining percentage is imported from the US. Recently, SARSTEDT opened a plant in Brazil and could soon commercialize those products in Mexico.

Opening a plant in Mexico would generate jobs and economic benefits for all involved and could produce for the internal market and export to Central America and South America. For SARSTEDT to open a manufacturing facility in the country is my greatest goal for the next five years.

Q: How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect SARSTEDT’s operations in Mexico?

A: SARSTEDT has been in Mexico for the past 20 years but it was not fully identified by all industry stakeholders, despite being leaders in the EU. However, the pandemic boosted the recognition of the company in Mexico. The variety of products we offered for COVID-19 diagnostic by PCR testing, increased our recognition in the country by roughly 40 percent.

Diagnostics, pre-analytical process is not our only focus. SARSTEDT’s second main business unit is called Life Science, which complement perfectly the whole sample processing by offering a wide variety of products and consumables for sampling, processing, transport and storage. Quality standards are very important in SARSTEDT. As a German company, we hold a large number of international certifications that allow us to homologue processes and create reproducibility, which is key in the industry. Product quality helps generate more efficient processes that translate into savings for the health sector by providing reliable results.

Q: What is SARSTEDT’s product portfolio regarding COVID-19 detection?

A: Our products were in high demand during the pandemic, including our PCR plates, pipette filter tips, transportation tubes, cryotubes and swabs. These product families significantly increased the company’s profile during the past two years. The brand is now well-known in the industry and other stakeholders have begun to understand how we can help them.

Q: How will SARSTEDT translate its higher profile into a greater market penetration of its dual blood-collection system?

A: This is the biggest challenge for SARSTEDT in Mexico. Our dual system is unique in the world. Our products are generally designed for six types of clients: hospitals, clinical laboratories, blood banks, veterinary, industry and research institutes. Of those, four are potential clients for our dual blood-collection system, mainly hospitals and labs. Nowadays, patients are more aware about the importance of sanitary protocols and their own care about blood management. These concerns made us create a dual and 100 percent disposable system to fulfill their expectations and provides an integral solution.

SARSTEDT will compete through training. We do not compete on price or substitution but by offering real solutions that provide efficiency and savings.

Q: How does SARSTEDT prove it is the best option for its clients?

A: Evidence may look pretty in literature or in presentations but by turning it into something real, we can demonstrate the tangible benefits to our clients. We prove that our products are the ideal solution through training, demonstration, protocols and validations.

As a validation method within the interested company, SARSTEDT compares the results obtained between the system in use versus the results of our system. We analyze the data and prove the benefits we offer.

Q: SARSTEDT also offers an automation service for clinical laboratories. What are the main challenges of implementing automated systems in Mexico?

A: Automation is not as popular in the pre-analytical phase, where we excel. Our systems are functional and integrate perfectly with most other systems. However, automated systems in the pre-analytical phase are still seen as a nice-to-have tool, rather than a necessary improvement. This is another great challenge for SARSTEDT in Mexico.

There are big, private laboratory chains that have collection centers where they run the samples taken in labs; that is where our system becomes relevant. However, those big chains still see us as a luxury. These systems could substitute the job of three people, which should not be seen as a bad thing necessarily but rather as an opportunity to relocate talent. It is not about eliminating employees but making them more productive.

 

SARSTEDT develops, manufactures and sells devices and consumables for the health industry. Founded in 1961, the company is present across the world, with 34 sales branches and 15 production sites.

Photo by:   SARSEDT
Antonio Gozain Antonio Gozain Journalist and Industry Analyst