Santiago Ruiz – Director General, B. Braun Portugal

Santiago Ruiz, entering his fourth year leading B. Braun’s Portuguese affiliate in Lisbon, highlights the innovation present in Portugal, B. Braun's Vision 2020 and emerging trends in the medtech world.   How has the affiliate evolved over the past three years under your management? We faced two crucial challenges over the past three years at B. Braun: firstly, developing ambition in line with B. Braun's Vision 2020, as one company covering all facets of hospitals procedures. We needed to realign our practices to become one, unified company that can offer a complete solution to hospitals. Secondary to this was a challenge we faced in outpatients. B. Braun is widely recognized on products that address the hospital market. However, we have already a wide portfolio of developed products for people that suffer from chronic diseases. It is challenging to separate these two strategies - hospital and outpatient care. Since then we have incorporated a two-pronged approach to tackle this. We want to be a complete partner to hospitals, as well as a partner to homecare and outpatient services. With this purpose, we have expanded our comprehensive portfolio with therapies that were not previously available, which are actually in Portugal since 2016. By creating a vision for hospitals, and a differentiated but coordinated concept for chronic diseases, while finalizing the complete portfolio, we can better serve patients in Portugal. Following the creation of this strategy, we are developing not only a commercial but also a complete new infrastructure to support it.   How successful were you in making available the entire portfolio in Portugal? We are well on the way and have developed the ‘easy' businesses so far. When we combine services and products, there are more hurdles to overcome, and this can take longer. We continue to develop the areas where the market has not taken into account our level of service, and therefore, we are in an in-depth process of rebuilding the offer in the fields where we were not present. Effectively, this makes one of the top priorities for 2018 -2020.   What are the primary growth drivers in Portugal? In Portugal, the National Health Service aims to cover the aspects that are less developed, such as helping patients become aware of services and products that will help cope with chronic illnesses. One of our key strategies has to make sure that these products feature on the national health System reimbursement schema, to better serve patients. We have grown clearly in ambulatory thanks to our work with the government on this front. We face different battles for different chronic patient illnesses, and one of the main important factors is the patient's lifestyle, notably nutrition. Nutrition heavily influences the prognosis of the disease and is currently not covered by the National Health Service. We try to show how effective the system could be in solving problems related to nutrition, ensuring a quick recovery and attain healthier patients. In essence, the longer a patient stays in the hospital, the more onerous the burden on the national health system, something we try to improve. We have identified the KPIs and engaged stakeholders in the conversation; those who are in a position to discuss with the administration so that the National Health Service might become more effective day by day.   What is the scope of B. Braun’s operations in Portugal? Braun is a medtech and pharma company—our sales are split half and half from each sector. However, we are a specialty pharmaceutical company in that we provide pharmaceuticals to hospitals and, as such, our products are treated as medical devices. We are active in medicinal administration innovation—how to use our medications in hospitals or ambulatory care. The way we care people, is as important as the care we provide. Please note we are specialists in parenteral and enteral nutritional. We created personalized solutions to diets for people that need to be fed in unique ways. At first sight, it does not seem to be a very exciting business, but it ensures that people are kept in the best conditions so that they can undergo cardiac surgery for example. This can happen outside or inside the medical institution. Additionally, we are also involved in pain control, during and after surgery. Moreover, because we deal with paracetamol and other painkillers, we have created devices that ensure effective delivery to patients. With B. Braun you choose not only the best drug but also the best drug delivery system.   How well established is B. Braun in Portugal?
It is hard to find any procedure in a hospital where one single product from B. Braun is not present
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