"Our policy is to have only scientific relations with therapists, not finance."
"This year we will focus on diabetic foot ulcers."
"Sorbact products are sold through our agents as well as online stores."
"The main feature of Sorbact is its distinctive mechanism of action. There is no competing mechanism for this segment of antimicrobial products."
Mahboubeh Ramezanian is the Marketing and Sales manager of Sorbact in Iran. She started her work in Payk Daru Company, the exclusive distributor of Sorbact in Iran, in January 2018 and is currently the Marketing and Sales Manager of the company. Before that, she worked in the sales and marketing departments of Iran Pharmis, Nicomed and Pasteur Institute for 11 years and is well versed in the pharmaceutical and medical device market. She also works as a digital marketing consultant in the healthcare market. She received her BSc in Biology from Isfahan University in 2005 and MBA in Pharmaceutical Market from Tehran University of Medical Sciences in 2017. Ramezanian was born in 1982 and is one of the young women active in Iranian medical device market.
Our conversation with Ramazanian is at Payk Daru Company in Kheradmand Street in Tehran. In the turmoil of moving to a new location, she calmly answers our questions and follows the topics carefully. It is clear that she has been doing sales and marketing for years and is well acquainted with the details. Here is our conversation about the Iranian wound market and Sorbact products.
At first, please explain about Payk Daru Company, the exclusive distributor of Sorbact in Iran.
The holding of Payk Daru consists of four main parts. Emergency medicines, nutritional supplements, pharmaceutical supplements and medical devices. In the field of medical devices, Payk Daru is the exclusive distributor of the Swedish company, Abigo, which produces Sorbact products.
What are the main features of Sorbact products?
The main feature of Sorbact is its distinctive mechanism of action. Sorbact products are based on hydrophobic inter-particle properties. These products are coated with the DACC molecules (dialkyl carbamoyl chloride) and thus the structure of the Sorbact products are similar to the bacterial wall and fungus. Bacteria and fungi are confused with their species and tend to attach to the dressing to form a colony. This connection is not reversible and gradually forms an irreversible colony at the dressing place. By removing the dressing, the bacteria are virtually removed from the wound. All kinds of bacteria except the cell wall-less bacteria are attached to the dressing by the same mechanism. We know, of course, that cell wall-less bacteria are not pathogenic in the wound. Normal flora also has hydrophilic walls, so they do not bond to the dressing. In the first 30 seconds, ten to five bacteria per square centimeter are bonded to the dressing, that is, 100,000 bacteria per square centimeter in the first 30 seconds. This is a great performance. On the other hand, the patient's pain is quickly relieved. By the same mechanism, the biofilm is removed. Because the biofilm adheres to the dressing. In electronic microscopes, the band of germs with Sorbact is quite clear.
What is the mechanism against biofilm?
EPS (Extracellular Polymeric Substances) is formed in the biofilm which must be degraded. In most dressings, EPS returns after debridement. This does not happen in Sorbact because the entire layer is removed. In general, the core of Sorbact products is their antimicrobial effect.
But we also have other antimicrobial products on the market.
Yes, but these products enter the body with chemicals such as silver or PHMB (polyhexanide) or MGO (methylglyoxal) found in honey. The first risk of these substances is the risk of sensitivity that is not in Sorbact. The second issue is bacterial resistance. Microbial resistance to silver is so high that silver products have been excluded from the German and French insurance list for two years. Problems with the environmental pollution caused by silver also contributed to the decision. For these reasons, and also because of the cost, the World Red Cross and UNICEF are using Sorbact.
Let's talk about Sorbact products. Which product do you consider the most prominent and why?
Ribbon Gauze is one of the most widely used Sorbact products. It is one of the best fillers. It increases cell migration and on the other hand, accelerates the production of fibroblasts and their rearrangement. It is also used to control fungi, such as diabetic foot. Simply wrap your fingertips and fix them with tape and replace them every day. It also performs well within the fistulas. I am interested in using honey to fill the fistula but there are some problems. It increases exudate and burns because it is acidic. But when you put the Sorbact in the fistula, because of its lightweight, the fistula ejects the dressing very easily. At Imam Hospital, one of the doctors was surprised by this comfort. Other uses of Ribbon Gauze are around orthopedic pins. This product well prevents infection in the external pins. Doctors who have used it and seen the results are always using it. Simply wrap the dressing around the pin and leave it for 5 days. At low cost, the risk of external pin infection decreases sharply.
What are the Benefits of Sorbact Surgical Dressing?
Sorbact first thinks about prevention and then treatment. The surgical dressing does control the infection. A few things are important for surgical dressings. Properties of exudate absorption, infection prevention, bathing ability and reasonable cost. Only two brands have all these features but they contain silver. Silver is contraindicated in some cases, such as pregnant and lactating women and children under two years of age. On the other hand, it imposes a high cost on the patient. Sorbet has all these features and costs very well.
Please explain the Sorbact superabsorbent dressing.
I can say that the absorption of superabsorbent is higher than any other dressings. The 10 by 10 cm dressing absorbs 123 ml of exudate and, on the other hand, does not return it. It also does not dry the wound despite high absorption and maintains moisture balance. Because of its properties in compression therapy, in donor sites and vascular wounds, and high-weight patients, it performs well.
What is Sorbact product for burns?
Gel dressing can be used for burns. The problem with burn patients is that the patient can move, but the Sorbact gel dressing remains completely fixed. The high consistency of this product is due to its high volume of PAA (polyacrylic acid). In a way, without a secondary dressing, it can easily stay on the wound for up to 4 days, but we do not recommend more than 3 days. The unique feature of this product is its high moisture content and low absorbability by secondary dressings. There are also large sizes for burns that we may enter the Iranian market this year.
Do you have any specific recommendations for using Sorbact products?
Here are some things I would like to say. Underneath these dressings should be no oil, ointment or cream. Far from the usual market bias, Sorbact can be combined with some products to improve their performance. For example with Gel X and Prontosan spray. There is an article by B. Braun, and the result is better in the combination of the two. I give this suggestion to the therapists who ask me, and they have always received a good response. Also, combining honey with Sorbact foam gives a much better result.
What share do you have in the Iranian market?
Sorbact had another distributor in Iran for about 6 years. The total imports of that company in those years were lower than our first import. It's hard to comment on market share. We had less than 2 percent share in 2018, and now we have reached 8 percent.
Do you consider a company your main competitor?
No. There is no competing mechanism for this segment of antimicrobial products.
Given that all of Abigo Sweden's products have entered the Iranian market, you will not have product development. But do you have any plan to expand the market?
For us, geographical development is important, both in Iran and outside of Iran, and with that aim, we have increased our staff. We will also expand our market. Last year we focused more on bed wounds and this year we will focus on diabetic foot ulcers.
How is your sale?
Sorbact products are sold through our agents as well as online stores.
How do you see the situation of Iran's wound market?
The problem in this market is that people in the business sector themselves are involved in the treatment process. Our policy is to have only scientific relations with therapists, not finance. Of course, many do not work with us for this reason. We don't compare ourselves to anyone. You will make progress if you focus on your work. If anyone has a question, they will ask us and we will answer. We do not engage ourselves in these futile games. Many people do not know me but have repeatedly said on the phone that I know your voice and then find out that they have seen or heard video or audio from me and used it.
All foreign brands at least in Iran are good and the market is still well developed. Over 70% of wounds are still treated traditionally. This because all brands are concentrated in only a limited segment of the market. Of course, it gets better day by day, but the market is still vast.
Thank you for this conversation.
Thank you, too, and I wish you all the best.