Thursday, June 26, 2014

Business, Business, Business! Let's talk business! Today, we had the privilege of meeting with Market Access Manager and Healthcare Compliance Officer, Vladimir Kosek from Johnson and Johnson in the Czech Republic. Kosek came out and presented to the group in the meeting room at the hotel. Vladimir Kosek has been with Johnson & Johnson for more than 13 years in various positions within the company including: health economics, regulatory, public tenders, compliance and market access.

In May, the company celebrated its 10th year anniversary of being a participant within the European Union. The company as a whole has more than 127 years in the market worldwide. The company has received the award for the top responsible company award for the last three years in a row. It was first established in former Czechoslovakia in 1991. Since the split, each country has established its own divisions of the company. More into the Czech Republic side of things, the company is a member of Czech Med, Ethical Collaboration in Healthcare Certified, AMCham and Platform Pro. CzechMed is a trade association within the CZ Republic. It monitors and ensures the cooperation of Johnson and Johnson with the competitors against state bureaucracy, commenting on new legislative proposals, ethical codes and working with groups in health care financing, reimbursement and legislation. When asked if the company here in Czech had any lobbyist helping them within Parliament, Kosek informed us that the President of Czech Med was actually a former Johnson and Johnson employee and could be considered sort of a lobbyist for the company backing them in Parliament when necessary.

The representative spoke of three sectors for which the company creates products including: Medical devices and diagnostics, Janssen and Consumer. There are a few basic differences between drug and medical device. For example, medical devices have a short life, high maintenance costs and both training and education are needed before putting these devices to use. On the other hand, drugs have a long life cycle, no maintenance cost are associated and education is need to inform users about why to use the drug. Some examples of the devices the company makes are: Ethicon, Gynecare, Advanced Sterilization Products and Depuy Mitek. In the Czech Republic the company has 160 hospital accounts and 19 accounts in Slovakia. They participate in what they call a Give and Gain Day which gets the employees involved in corporate social responsibility activities boosting the morale within the company and creating a distinct presence within the community. Looking toward the future, Johnson and Johnson focuses on three pillars of perfection including: Value-Based Selling, Professional Education and Commercial Excellence.

The second part of the day we went and visited Cisco of Czech Republic. Cisco is a networking IT company based in America. It has 70,000 employees around the globe and is 50 billion dollar company. The have been in Czech since 1996 and have about 200 employees in Czech. We were introduced to the company by Pavel Krizanovsky and the manager who they call G9. Pavel presented trends with continued impact including: mobility, wireless technology, BYOD (bring your own device), smart buildings and smart and converged business solutions. He showed us a graph of the Global Mobile Data Traffic Growth/Apps and the leading consumer of internet and mobile space is video. Faster internet speeds are on the horizon. Over the years the price for internet has been decreasing. Where prices were $1,000/GB, they are now somewhere around $2.34/GB. Internet is cheaper and more reliable than it once was.

G9 told us the story on how Cisco was established during the late 1980's. He described it as a love story where two Stanford students came together in order to further connect virtually. The two where at two different business schools and could not send messages through two different networks at the time. This frustrated them and that's when they set out to find a way to connect between different networks. They designed a device that could translate codes in a way that the person on the receiving end would be able to understand. The lovers are no longer together, but their love enabled an internet phenomenon. The company pride itself in innovation and every year it invest 12% back into its research and development department. This is one of the reasons they are the leading company in their field. While visiting the office, we were able to see their virtual offices and tour their testing rooms. We were even introduced to the future of LED lighting.

Lastly, the group all went to a pub called Pilsner Urquell to watch the World Cup and eat dinner. This was a lot fun and the pub featured an electronic self-service feature which was definitely new and interesting to everyone. My favorite thing about Prague so far has been our tour guide Petr! He's really awesome and definitely knows his history. The city itself is of course beautiful!! I didn't need to say that though... It's PRAGUE!!

Until next time,

Ashley Cadenhead

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