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EF: What are BIOTRONIK’s priorities in 2023 and how are they reflected in Latin America?

RA: COVID brought unprecedented changes that impacted our company and various industries. The suspension of elective surgeries was a significant setback; however, we are gradually recovering. We remain optimistic about the future as we strive to recuperate the losses incurred during the pandemic. While navigating the business environment in Latin America, we must be mindful of the economic and political landscape. Despite the complexities, we are confident about our prospects in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, and Costa Rica, where we have a significant market presence. Our investments in product launches and market expansion in Latin America reflect our commitment to this crucial segment, which accounts for roughly 10% of our total revenue.

EF: What makes the Latin America region attractive, and how can we attract more resources?

RA: Latin America's appeal lies in its vast size, the diversity of its people, and its abundance of talented physicians and patients. Nevertheless, bureaucracy poses significant obstacles to conducting clinical trials in the region. For instance, the approval process in Brazil is two to three times longer than that of the US or Europe, resulting in missed opportunities for attracting multinational companies. Tax reform is also a contentious issue, especially in Brazil, where it has hindered the country's competitiveness in the global market. Despite these challenges, Latin America's potential remains immense, with over 500 million hectares of untapped resources. To capitalize on this potential, we must take responsibility and initiate change at the country level to make the region more attractive to international investors. By doing so, we can assert our independence from Europe and the US and establish Latin America as a competitive force in the global market.

EF: Besides your focus on cardiovascular diseases, what else is in your regional portfolio?

RA: Our company has three major business pillars in Latin America, namely Cardiac Rhythm Management (CRM), Vascular Intervention, and Electrophysiology. These business pillars reflect our company's dedication to improving patient outcomes and driving change in the healthcare industry. In electrophysiology, we have partnered with Acutus Medical, an American company, to launch a 3D mapping system in Brazil and Argentina. This system allows physicians to visualize the heart's anatomy and electrical activity without invasive contact, providing a more effective means of treating cardiac diseases such as atrial fibrillation. We have invested in training, marketing, and congress to promote this innovative product and familiarize stakeholders with its benefits. Our efforts reflect our commitment to driving change and enhancing healthcare outcomes in Latin America.

EF: Could you elaborate on your strategies to promote awareness and distribute BIOTRONIK´s device to consumers?

RA: We have established an access team in Brazil and Argentina to address private and public issues. We focus on health economic data and trials to prove to stakeholders that our products save lives and reduce costs. Despite these challenges, we maintain a 40-45% market share in Brazil. Roughly 60% of our total sales come from the private sector, with 40% from the public sector, subject to government pricing decisions. We engage in ongoing strategic discussions with the government and payers to continue playing a significant role in the region. Through strong arguments, we aim to demonstrate the value of our products for patients and businesses. This is a long journey, but we are making progress.

Balancing priorities between access and innovation is an extremely complex task. While groundbreaking innovations like the 3D mapping of the heart for cardiovascular diseases are essential, access must also be considered, especially in Brazil, which has the largest population in the region. However, despite the challenges, the market is in a much better position than seven or eight years ago. The market now values open conversations about access and prices. Even if it takes work and effort,  progress is being made in the right direction.

EF: What skill set is required for a sustainable and successful business today?

RA: The keys to success are flexibility, adaptability, active listening, a learning spirit, hiring talented individuals, fostering a positive work environment, optimism, and inspiration. Micromanagement should be avoided, and a big-picture perspective is crucial. We aim to be recognized as a top partner for physicians and patients and have been in the Brazilian industry for over 40 years and 60 years globally. We are willing to continue the legacy for more years to come.  

We are proud to have been named one of Brazil and Argentina's best workplaces, cementing the importance of flexibility and adaptability. We understand the significance of creating a workplace environment that fosters innovation, collaboration, and personal development. We enable our employees to be agile and responsive to the ever-changing landscape of the MedTech industry. This approach also allows us to cultivate a diverse and inclusive workplace that celebrates individual differences and promotes equal opportunities for all.

emphasis on medical and patient education is a testament to our company's commitment to providing innovative and effective medical devices that improve patient outcomes. In today's fast-paced and ever-evolving healthcare landscape, medical device companies must collaborate closely with physicians to ensure they are equipped with the latest tools and technologies.

In addition to our commitment to education, our optimistic outlook on the future is also reflected in our culture. By embracing a positive mindset, BIOTRONIK creates an environment where employees are encouraged to think creatively, take risks, and push boundaries, which bodes well for our company's continued success in the region.  

EF: What notable milestones would you love to highlight, celebrating BIOTRONIK´s 60 years of innovation?

RA: As market leader in Brazil, BIOTRONIK has established a reputable image among physicians and patients, thanks to our commitment to patient and medical education. The company is also recognized as one of the best places to work in the country, emphasizing the importance of flexibility and adaptability in the workplace. The key to our success is simple: be bold, focus on serving patients, and work together as a team. We believe in keeping things simple and inspirational to drive our team's success in this complex industry. With this mindset, we will continue to work diligently daily, paving the way for a brighter future. We remain dedicated to our values and principles as we continue to work towards our goals. We are proud of the work we have accomplished thus far, and we are confident that our team's spirit and determination will lead us to even greater heights in the future.

May 2023