Sleep Review interviews Peter Farrell, president and CEO, and Ron Richard, vice president of marketing, at ResMed

Sleep Review spoke with Peter Farrell, president and CEO, and Ron Richard, vice president of marketing at ResMed, Poway, Calif, about the importance of sleep medicine and how the company is ensuring that patients receive the best possible care.

Q. How does ResMed help ensure patient compliance?
FarrellPeter Farrell
(left): I think making sure there is a sensitive understanding of the patient’s predicament [being accustomed to having something on their face and possible feelings of claustrophobia] is important. Support groups are also essential. It is important not only to have a good clinician, but also to have patients interact with others who have had many years of treatment. We are also not afraid of using scare tactics. We [can not prevent] death, but [we can prevent] an early exit from life’s freeway. We emphasize that if you do not adapt to this treatment, you could face the possibility of an early stroke, premature death, or premature congestive heart failure. There is a lot of morbidity attached to sleep disordered breathing. Finally, we provide caregivers with efficacy information. We are the only people who do this.

RichardRon Richard (left): ResMed has embarked over the last 12 months on developing extensive educational support programs to help dealers better teach patients and physicians about the tools out there. We often find that dealers are not supported by the manufacturers, and the products are just dropped off. Our sales representatives are all very well trained.

Q. What new products are being developed?
When we look at products, one of the important keystone areas is the development of the mask interface. This is one of the biggest breakthroughs in increasing patient compliance.

Farrell: We concentrate on two areas. First, what we are currently doing, getting feedback from the marketplace and improving things. Very simple, but very important. Second, we look at where we want to take this area, and in this case, we know what we are doing for the next 10 years…[When developing products,] we also look at what cardiologists, neurologists, and rehabilitation physicians need.

Q. How does ResMed survive the competition within the sleep industry?
We love competition. It stops you from becoming lazy and complacent. This is not a Coke versus Pepsi battle. We collaborate with [other companies]. The fact is the area is so big, so underserved, it is a non-zero-sum game. In other words, Coke versus Pepsi is a zero-sum game; whatever Coke takes, Pepsi loses. Whereas, in an area that is so underpenetrated, people need to band together and say, “Wake up to the importance of sleep.”

Richard: One thing that helps us beat the competition is that we work well together as a team. We have a high retention rate of employees, a stability factor. All the mergers and acquisitions and the turmoil going on in the industry have not affected us. Essentially, execution [is important]. We deliver what we promise, and our products do the same thing.