We preferred to focus on the needs of the Iranian market and not work on all Covalon products. We are known as one of the largest suppliers of silver antimicrobial dressings in Iran
In a situation, in which it is economically easier to import a product from countries like China, we have accepted the difficulties and risks of trading with the United States and introduced high-quality American goods to the Iranian market.
Dr Mahmoud Elyasi is a graduate of Pharmacy from the University of Tehran and the technical director of Mobtakaran Salamat Fakher Company, established in Tehran in 2016 under private ownership that has been recognized as the official and exclusive agency of Covalon in Iran since November 2017.
Initially, please explain about the Covalon products.
Covalon was developed in 2004, in the Canadian company of Covalon Technologies. Products of this brand are divided into four categories: advanced wound care, infection prevention, pre-Operative care, and medical device coating.
What do you think are the unique features of the Covalon?
They are very knowledge-based, and their products are very high-tech. For example, ColActive has only a single equivalent around the world. There is no other product on the global market that has five active ingredients on one dressing. They also don't work on a broad portfolio and only focus on a few specific products. For example, ColActive has the ability to replace three products; simple collagen, collagen matrix dressing with silver, and matrix dressing with sodium alginate. In fact, ColActive is three products in one. Therefore, the therapist can easily advance the healing process with a single dressing.
It seems that Covalon is trying to create a scientific and professional image of its brand. They even greatly emphasize the knowledge and education of their employees.
It’s true. The number of employees with a PhD degree in this company is much higher than other companies in the world. For example, the company's vice president, who was the initiator of Colactive and has recently resigned, is Iranian and is basically a scientist. Covalon was founded by a medical university in Canada.
How many countries are producing Covalon in the world?
It is produced only in America, but it is present in the consumer markets of all five continents. Due to the current situation, we preferred to focus on the needs of the Iranian market and not work on all Covalon products. We are known as one of the largest suppliers of silver antimicrobial dressings in Iran, and the Department of Equipment also supports us so that there is no shortage in the market. According to this responsibility, we shifted our potential towards the Colactive. But we may re-import other products in the near future.
What is the competitive advantage of your products?
Advanced formulation and excellent performance are the competitive advantages of our products. They are only dressings that have four active ingredients in one dressing. Ag product which contains five active ingredients together has no rival in Iran.
Do you see any competitor for yourself in the country?
All companies operating in the field of wound products in the country are our competitors. However, we operate in a limited market. Therefore, there is a competition over the market share, but there is no specific case to consider as a competitor. At least we are unrivalled in the type of product we represent.
We are very ethics-oriented in our work, and if we are not sure of something, we will not claim it. In a situation, in which it is economically easier to import a product from countries like China, we have accepted the difficulties and risks of trading with the United States and introduced high-quality American goods to the Iranian market. The reason is that we do not want to waste the money and time of the patient and the therapist. We will not forgive ourselves for every mistake we may make. Thus, we do not have to make unrealistic or unofficial claims to sell more.
Given the current situation in the country, what development plans do you have?
Definitely, we have some development plans, but what I can tell you is that we like our compatriots everywhere in the country to be able to access our products more increasingly every day.
What is your distribution system like?
In some provinces, we have an official sales representative, through which our products reach consumers. In other provinces, where we do not have a representative, we are directly connected to the clinics.
One of the most important areas in markets such as wound care is training specialized product users. Companies have different policies in this regard. What is your company's policy for training therapists and in what ways?
We have two paths to this end. The first one is through face-to-face training along with certification. In such a way that we invite people who work with us to the office hall and make sure that they know how to work with our products. Fortunately, this approach is well received. The second path is through the numerous instructional videos that we provide to therapists on our website, our Aparat channel, or even in a private manner. Most movies are produced by ourselves. Some of the films are translated from Covalon’s site and are then subtitled for the audience.
Most wound care companies focus on therapists, but we see few companies that target the training of physicians, including infectious disease specialists and general practitioners. What is your company's policy?
We cover both aspects. Fortunately, some physicians have recently become interested in the wound area. We train anyone interested in wounds, be a therapist or a physician. Wound care is a new field, and even non-physicians and those with non-wound academic disciplines are active in this area. Wound care is an interdisciplinary field. Wound healing is actually teamwork requiring the presence of both a nurse and a physician. But for some reasons it is conducted in a non-team way. Unfortunately, some doctors still do not believe in specialized dressings, and think that wound healing only means to wash the wounds with distilled water or Betadine, or graft the wound while it is still infected. This traditional thinking and such mistakes have unfortunately led to amputations in some patients.
It seems that the concerns of all wound care companies are almost the same. How do you think Meezgerd can help in this regard?
Wound companies in Iran have common problems, and I wish there were joint measures in the area of building culture. These measures are beyond the responsibility of one company alone, and all companies need to work together. I hope Meezgerd can bring companies together.
I appreciate you for the time you allocated to Meezgerd.
Thank you too. I hope you can continue your way and don't get tired, and we can see Meezgerd being increasingly more substantial and more scientific.