Carlos Jiménez
Director General
B. Braun Mexico
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View from the Top

Patents: Marketing Target to Grow Homecare Results

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 11:12

Q: What are your strategies and priorities for the coming years as the new head of B. Braun Mexico?
A: In 2018, we started a consolidation process that we have yet to complete. In the past, we operated through two separate entities but we decided to act instead as B. Braun Mexico under a single leadership. This strategy is client-focused and oriented toward patients and health professionals, assigning only one executive per client for all B. Braun’s solutions. The company has 5,000 product lines, around 120,000 SKUs and in the commercial area we have over 200 people. Our new strategy gives clients a single point of contact with the company, which avoids having to translate our internal complexity to clients.
Q: How is B. Braun adapting to the homecare trend and what other trends could impact the medical devices sector?
A: The homecare market is growing and will gain importance in Mexico and the rest of the world. Although it is an important part of the patient’s care, homecare is not a substitute for specialized care centers. We need to have a combination of ambulatory attention and homecare. But the latter, at the moment, is restricted because it has to be paid out of pocket and is not reimbursed by any insurance company.
Another issue that is hindering homecare is that for non-OTC medical devices, the law prohibits direct advertising. This is a topic that we need to review to see if the scheme can be opened somehow so that homecare can go accompanied by mass communication. This could be regulated by COFEPRIS or any other entity, as long as we can target marketing campaigns toward patients.
Q: Which B. Braun division has enjoyed the best performance in the country?
A: We have four divisions: Aesculap, which is related to patient chirurgical care; Hospital Care, focused on hospital supplies for patient care; Avitum, that focuses on hemodialysis and Out Patient Market, the division dedicated to homecare. So far, Out Patient Market has delivered the largest, scoring double-digit rates, even though it is our smallest division. We have seen good results and have good expectations in chronic wound care. Diabetic patients, for example, have many problems related to chronic wounds. There is also significant demand for colostomy bags and ostomies and incontinence products. Incontinence is a growing segment, although patients are reluctant to wear diapers. To address this, we are providing other devices that are used at procedures that can be performed at an ambulatory center or even during a medical consultation. We have not released these last three product lines in Mexico, but we are already very active in wound care.
Q: What strategies are you implementing to market B. Braun products not only in the private but also in the public sector?
A: We are waiting for the details of how the universal health system will work in the country. An increase in the number of people with access to health services is truly favorable. What we would need to review is how this is going to be financed, because the idea has always been to keep costs low. I hope the government can deliver on its promise to increase GDP expenditure in health from 6 percent to 8 percent. We understand that the public budget is undergoing a period of reorganization, so I hope that after this phase we will see more investment in 2020.
In general, in Mexico we spend very little on health services and a lot on the administrative side of healthcare. A universal health system could solve this but the government must take the necessary steps in that direction. For instance, for homecare, we could hire nurses and provide companion services, but for that we need to know what will be the homecare system that social security will finance so we can prepare adequate solutions.