Thursday, November 25, 2010

2010 Beijing Trip, Endovascular Grafts

Yesterday, I basically stayed in my hotel room the entire day. Sindy came by in the afternoon but immediately got a call about a surgery scheduled for this morning. For each surgery sponsored by her company (more on that later), she has to go back to work and pick up products. In this case, after talking to the surgeon, she decided to bring 4 stents to the OR this morning.

There were two stents in each plastic box; the boxes came up to about my chin. Sindy said they charge ~RMB100k per stent so we were carrying about US$60k of product with us around Beijing.

I went with her by taxi back to work last night ~7pm since it was her no-car day (based on license plate number) in Beijing. Traffic was pretty bad as usual on the 2nd Ring Road and it took us about 45 minutes to go ~10 miles. After picking up the package, we went back to her parents' house via subway. Her office (Huapu Garden building) is right next to Dongsishitiao (δΈœε››εζ‘) subway station. The subway was pretty crowded as well since people were still getting off work but it was faster than going by car. I felt a bit weird carrying $60k of medical devices through the subway but Sindy said one time she carried a box with 20 stents or ~$300k of product. Good thing the boxes are printed in English so most people won't know what's inside.

Why are we carrying medical devices around Beijing at night? The medical system here works a lot different from the US. In this case, Sindy's company are sole sales reps for Cook Medical's (US company) endovascular grafts. When there's a surgery scheduled, the patient actually pays her company for the entire surgery. Her company then pays the OR surgeon who then pays the medical support staff and hospital for their services. Therefore, if the patient do not pay for the surgery for some reason, Sindy's company takes the hit. After paying the surgeon (officially and under-the-table), product cost to Cook, and other sales and marketing expenses, the owners make ~RMB10k per surgery.


Jovi, the Japanese fusion restaurant we ate at on Monday is very near Sindy's office. They have 2 Beijing locations currently and plan to open 13 more. Judging by the low number of diners when we were there, I'm not sure short skirts will draw enough business over the long run.

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