Read the Conversation
EF: What are your priorities in Brazil/LatAm for the current year?
VS: Our priority is to finalize the spin-off and enable the company to work independently. Our main driver is to formulate a different type of thinking. Compared to our previous situation, we are now a different company. It is a matter of changing the mindset of the employees and emphasizing the need to be more agile, more flexible, and more efficient regarding cost.
My main objective is to build a solid foundation for the company and set up the environment for sustainable growth rates with a high level of engagement.
EF: What is the importance of the Brazilian market for your operations, and how are you growing your footprint in the country?
VS: Diabetes is still being considered a Global epidemic, and for every Latin American country, we have the same figures. Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, and lower limb amputation. We have a large number of diabetic patients in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, and all of Latin America. We are trying to provide more innovative and quality of life to diabetic patients who need frequent insulin injections. These innovations can make a significant difference in the patients’ lives. Embecta Corp. is one of the largest pure-play diabetes care companies in the world, and it´s committed to empowering people with diabetes to live their best life through innovative solutions.
We are trying to deeply understand the patients' needs and troubles and provide solutions for a better quality of life.
EF: How is embecta contributing to generating better access within the country, and how are you forming partnerships to reach all corners of the country?
VS: The challenge in Latin America is still the same. We have many different regions inside Latin America, including Brazil. It is good to have innovation and technology, but not all solutions apply to everybody. When discussing access, we first need to understand the different health systems, government challenges, and factors that apply to the diverse segments of Latin American populations.
In the unequal societies of Latin American countries, we have a population that can easily access facilities, technology, and innovation. Still, we also have a huge population with very limited conditions to be treated at the same level. With a broad portfolio, we are able to deliver better access and adapt solutions, as it prepares us to serve different segments of the population. By providing adequate solutions and products, we can reach the majority of the people in every country.
The patient journey is the core element of addressing the patients’ real needs. Innovation and technology bring better attendance to the patient and healthcare professionals (HCPs); therefore, embecta is always trying to better understand the challenges of patients and HCPs.
EF: How does embecta engage with medical professionals to create a better patient journey?
VS: We have facilities that make use of digital innovations in terms of education. Physicians and HCPs normally do not have much time to explain a patient's issues. These medical professionals spend a lot of time discussing treatment challenges but not the lifestyle, infusion techniques, and nutrition change a patient needs to make. Technology and Education can help patients receive more information to better understand their condition, not just about the medication but all other important aspects connected with the treatment, for example, the importance of the correct infusion techniques to achieve better outcomes.
Regarding technology, there is still a lot of room for improvement. For digital transformation to work, we need to collect and store accurate data. We have an aging population, and diabetes is going to become an even bigger issue as lifestyles, food, and habits worsen. This bad situation will lead to a consistent increase in diabetic patients. The dilemma of the future, as we can expect worse numbers in the future. According to IDF, over 3 in 4 adults with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries, and diabetes was responsible for 6.7 million deaths in 2021 worldwide - 1 every 5 seconds.
EF: How can private companies, public institutions, NGOs, and other stakeholders collaborate better to face the diabetes problem?
VS: Everyone in this environment is trying to work together, but our efforts are still very individualistic. We are still on the journey of bringing all the market segments together. Collaboration is the best way to generate an impact on diabetic patients because the disease needs a broad view. Without collaboration between all stakeholders involved in the market, tackling this disease will be tough.
By interacting with patients and HCPs, we can understand their burdens and needs. The high cost of treatment is problematic, and this does not only apply to the cost of insulin, but the additional supplies required. When observing a diabetic patient in the pharmacy, one will see shopping baskets filled with medications, syringes, pen needles, devices, glucose meters, strips, lancets, creams, and much more. Once realizing the size of the treatment necessary for a single patient, we understand that the dynamics of diabetes are not a single process. Unlike hypertension or cholesterol, the disease is not resolved with the consumption of a single pill; a holistic view is necessary to approach the disease in a better way.
Measuring glucose levels several times a day requires lancets and strips for the glucometer. A syringe or a pen needle is needed to administer the correct insulin dose. Patients must monitor frequently and understand their insulin levels, and this can be difficult and overwhelming. All these aspects create a very critical and complex situation to be considered.
EF: It has been a year since the consolidation of embecta. What is your goal for the next ten years, and what would you like to celebrate in the future?
VS: I envision embecta providing a broad portfolio for different types of patients and needs and more solutions connected with the treatment of diabetes. We are leaders in Latin America in providing solutions in the form of medical devices. I want to amplify embecta's portfolio in Latin America so that we can collaborate more and offer more options and access to the patients and the HCPs involved.
embecta is one of the largest pure-play diabetes care companies in the world, leveraging its nearly 100-year legacy in insulin delivery to empower people with diabetes to live their best life through our innovative solutions and partnerships. This is also the approach for Latin America, and we are adapting our solutions to the reality of the regional environment.