Fostering Awereness to Improve Patient OutcomesWed, 09/09/2015 - 17:04
Q: How many years has ConvaTec operated in Mexico? What attracted the company to this market?
A: ConvaTec is a global medical products and technologies company with leading market positions in ostomy care, wound therapeutics, continence, and critical care, as well as infusion devices. Our products provide a range of clinical and economic benefits, including infection prevention, protection of at-risk skin, improved patient outcomes, and reduced total cost of care. ConvaTec has been present in the Mexican market for the last 30 years, as part of the Bristol Myers Squibb group. We became an independent company in 2008, and because Mexico is an emerging market, we see investment in the country as an opportunity for coverage and growth.
Q: How do you differentiate your portfolio from your competitors’ products?
A: We are developing and launching products faster than ever before. Our traditional areas are ostomy care and wound management, but we recently entered the critical care area. In future, we plan to roll out products for surgery and anesthesia among others. As our products are of a very high quality, we intend to approach every segment of the market. The goal for us is to be known for our excellent integrated services, for clear customer orientation, and for growing patient awareness.
Q: In ConvaTec’s experience how is the regulatory environment in Mexico?
A: The regulatory affairs environment is improving. We have seen significant progress in the product registration process. A number of alternatives to the process are now open, including FDA equivalence, third-party authorization, and so on. These new options make it possible to register a product and launch it into the market much faster and more efficiently. We have gained approval for more and more products in Mexico, and patients are ultimately the ones who benefit. Healthcare professionals are using also better technologies with better results.
Q: How are ConvaTec and the wider industry attempting to address the challenges facing this segment of the market?
A: One key challenge this industry has to face is patient awareness. Patients, their families, and society in general need to be more aware and more effectively incorporated into the healthcare system. We have developed some projects with the aim of covering parts of the country where patients do not know about our products, as well as addressing economic exclusion by improving access. We view it as an industry responsibility to help reach excluded patients. We use traditional sales calls, seminars and other type of events to reach these patients and we have set up a program to provide primary care and access to our products. This helps patients to understand that they have the ability to overcome the limitations they believe they have after having an ostomy. We help patients understand that they can live an active life again, as well as recovering their social and work lives.
Q: Who are your main customers at this point and how do you see this base evolving?
A: We sell to the public and private entities, with a variety of channels, services, and portfolios. There are many efforts from different groups to enable ostomy and diabetic patients to access more funding and reimbursement for aftercare products, but the results right now are gradual. Once ostomy patients are discharged from the hospital, 70-75% go on to buy their products themselves. Some patients are now pushing public and private payers to cover medical supplies. There are important economic reasons why they should provide such products. The more patients recover their normal lifestyles, the faster they can go back to work and reintegrate to society as productive individuals.
Q: How easy is it to collect data in Mexico about the type of patients you provide for?
A: It is complicated to acquire specific data and this is a problem in Mexico that is not only limited to our field. We rely on experience and estimations. Currently we have to estimate the market value and market share. There are companies in the data and statistic fields doing an excellent job at addressing this gap and assessing markets. We will see in a few years how market intelligence evolves.