An interview with Enrique Manzoni Regional Managing Director of Boehringer Ingelheim
An interview with Enrique Manzoni Regional Managing Director of Boehringer Ingelheim (Middle East, Turkey, Africa (META) region)
Middle East Business spoke with Enrique Manzoni, Regional Managing Director of Boehringer Ingelheim in the Middle East, Turkey, Africa (META) region, about how the sector is working hard to prevent debilitating conditions affecting our citizens.
Looking at the business of healthcare and how it is impacting upon the region, how is the landscape changing to meet the needs of the public as well as for governments, investors and policy makers?
According to recent reports, the pharmaceutical sector in the UAE is set to grow from just over $3 billion in 2015 to $5.7 billion by 2020.1 This is driven by increased healthcare expenditure, health insurance and the infrastructure built around driving the region as a medical tourism hub. The GCC has some of the highest incidences of lifestyle diseases, including heart diseases and diabetes. Such a situation calls for an increase in supply of medicines in the coming years. Healthcare management solutions that prevent these conditions are attracting investment from both governments and private institutions.
To avert a national health crisis, governments are focusing on prevention rather than treatment. The landscape is evolving with reforms, expansion in infrastructure and regulatory changes in order to achieve this aim. Along with government funding, the healthcare sector is seeing considerable private sector participation and technology investment. In many GCC nations, this is in part driven by mandatory health insurance schemes, with investments being driven partly by Merger & Aquisition ( M& A) transactions. Private sector participation is especially important as the oil- crisis impacted upon government spending ( to some degree) in many GCC countries. Dubai’s healthcare strategy actively encourages private sector participation, with several protective measures and incentives. Several speciality clinics and hospitals are reducing the need for residents in the region to travel abroad for treatment and in turn developing medical tourism potential. Digitisation and use of information technology in medical records, analytics and patient engagement is another growth area.
How is Boehringer Ingelheim working with the government in order to influence and achieve their healthcare vision - for example, UAE’s 2021 Vision, and improving the healthcare system and lives of citizens?
The Dubai Health Strategy 2021 itself has been drafted based on input from both public and private organisations and is testament to the progress of the healthcare sector. Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to launching new products to manage diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases, as well as to continue developing enhanced stroke centers across the region. Dubai’s dedicated free zone authority, DHCC, will be a huge boost to both foreign investment and medical tourism. This will in turn impact upon the supply, distribution and pricing of pharmaceuticals. In addition, earlier this year, we signed a memorandum of understanding ( MOU) with the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHP), which focused primarily on driving robust stroke prevention programmes and better patient management care approaches across the UAE.
The ultimate aim is to collaborate with and assist MoHP hospitals in decreasing mortality rates resulting from heart attacks by decreasing the delays in the stroke management process from when the stroke occurs to when the patient arrives at the hospital. Under the MoU, MoHP will form a stroke panel to collaborate with Boehringer Ingelheim and assign two leaders based in two hospitals who will be responsible for rolling out the process of establishing stroke units. The ministry’s stroke teams will comprise of neurologists, emergency room doctors, specialist nurses, radiologists, laboratory specialists as well as pharmacists. Team members will collate local data about stroke patients, which will be used in an integrated process that includes a pre-hospital, hospitalisation, and specialist care phases. Our role includes analysing stroke patient pathway to identify areas of improvement and optimisation, assessing the overall stroke management process, putting in place a strong stroke management protocol as well as providing expert training. In addition, we’re also driving this initiative by facilitating discussions, seminars and workshops to update medical professionals in the UAE around stroke treatment, protocols, and providing dedicated learning material around decreasing the doorto-needle time, which is the interval between patient’s arrival to the hospital and starting the treatment, and saving stroke patients’ lives.
How are pharma companies investing in the region and providing innovative solutions for healthcare systems?
For more than 130 years, Boehringer Ingelheim has been committed to the research and development of innovative medicines that improve the lives of patients and their families around the world.
The region is set to be a key hub for the pharmaceutical sector, boosted by demographic and economic factors, and a push from governments.
These factors will in turn positively impact upon approval processes, infrastructure development and greater affordability, and contribute to positive outcomes across therapeutic areas. Our focus will remain to drive innovation, especially in oncology, respiratory diseases and diabetes, to be able to provide a better quality of life and treatment outcomes. Innovation is at the core of our operations in the region. We continue to facilitate new approaches to provide patients with
the latest treatment, raising national awareness levels on key disease areas to drive preventive measures as well as creating tailor- made strategies that help patients manage their lives in a more sustainable manner.
Boehringer Ingelheim is expanding into new markets such as Africa and providing an expanded range of services to the region. How do you see this impacting upon the healthcare infrastructure and the overall business performance of this sector?
We are proud of the success of this region and will continue on our growth path in the coming years. The team is committed to maintaining a strong growth trajectory in the region by introducing innovative initiatives that cater to serving patients and achieving better treatment outcomes in different therapeutic areas. We are conducting various clinical trials across different therapeutic areas in diabetes and oncology - specifically for lung cancer. The company also received around 20 registration approvals all over the region. We are also committed to continue with our mission for stroke management in the region. Our relationship with Sanofi will also substantially enhance our position in the future market for animal health.
Could you describe the current healthcare sector landscape in the GCC? Which are the most active/ successful markets for your business right now?
The pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors in MENA will continue to be shaped by global trends in oil prices. The downward oil price trend has brought with it unique challenges. Demand for healthcare solutions will continue with rising lifestylerelated health concerns. So the need for healthcare services that focus on prevention will be the norm. Healthcare providers are continuing to diversify their services to adapt to this landscape. In 2016, Boehringer Ingelheim in the Middle East and North Africa ( MENA) region achieved 16% growth in sales respectively. Strong performing markets included Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and Kuwait. We are proud of our continued success and commitment to the region and look forward to strong performance in the year ahead.
Looking forward, which business and industry trends do you see having an effect on the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry?
Increased product diversification, private sector investments, rise in M& As, compulsory health insurance schemes will all be key growth drivers going forward. The healthcare sector remains a top national priority across the region. Addressing increasing demand has often fallen to the public sector, however, in recent years, publicprivate partnerships are becoming an increasingly common model. A lager company will also be more influential with insurers, which in turn will ultimately benefit the consumer, by securing access to specialist services.
And finally, how do you envisage Boehringer Ingelheim's sales growth within the pharmaceutical sector during for 2017?
We will continue with new product launches in the coming year, specifically in the region. The region will be a huge focus for our business to serve the patients in need. We are confident that we are well positioned for growth and development in our various markets.