B. Braun: Everywhere But Here
Founded over 160 years ago, Germany-based B. Braun is a leading hospital supplier of medical supplies and products around the globe, combining a broad product and a strong service component. Pursuing a broad-based strategy that seeks to leverage its wide array of products, a la American Hospital Supply Corp., B. Braun officials nonetheless understand the importance of having state-of-the-art products in its many technology categories. Its US business has been less successful, raising the question why strong foreign suppliers often find it difficult to crack the US marketplace. But B. Braun is anything but a cautious, conservative, family-owned company, as its long history might suggest. From manufacturing to corporate culture, the company relentlessly pursues the latest and most up-to-date approaches.
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Until now, B. Braun, one of the oldest players in cardiovascular devices, has been comfortable in its niche. B. Braun's cardiovascular business is actually made up of two units, one that makes products for interventional radiologists and surgeons in the peripheral field, the other on a range of devices used in interventional cardiology. But the investment the company is making in a new technology, drug-eluting balloons, could be disruptive, if not to interventional cardiology, at least to the cardiovascular device companies and none more so than B. Braun itself.
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