BHR Pharmaceuticals Ramesh Patel, AC1 Now, Type 1 diabetes

KIT

COMPANY PROFILE

BHR PHARMACEUTICALS

P

ne of the directors of

BHR Pharmaceuticals

Ltd, Ramesh Patel, has

a particular interest in

diabetes care, as he

has Type 1 diabetes. The other company

director, Bharat Vadukul, also has an

interest as he has Type 2 diabetes. BHR

stands for British Health Research. The

company mainly sells and distributes

diagnostic products for use in the home as

well as at GP surgeries, but the company

is also involved in research projects at the

University of Warwick, the University of

Birmingham and Chester Hospital.

Patel qualified with a degree in

pharmacology in 1981 from Portsmouth.

It was in 1981 that he was diagnosed with

Type I diabetes, at the age of 25. He had

picked up a viral infection while on a visit to

Zambia and soon after his return he lost a

lot of weight and went to the doctors. He

recalls, "The GP just looked at me and told

me to go to hospital. The consultant at the

hospital said I was ketotic, didn't even test

me, and put me straight on insulin. Back

then, no one taught you to count carbs, I

wasn't told anything about diet except not

to eat sugary foods. I was given a blue box

that contained a glass syringe and steel

needles. I started on Insulatard, just one

injection a day. I immediately started to feel

better and stayed on that single injection

regime for many years, it was all I needed

for a long while."

After graduating, Patel started to work

in some of the bigger pharmaceutical

companies. He and co-director Bharat

Vadukul were both regional managers

for Shire Pharmaceuticals - a British start

up. In 1990 they decided to work for

themselves and so BHR was born. They

began with just two tests, one of which

was a test for pregnancy, the other was a

urine test that could indicate a range of 10

parameters, including proteins, ketones,

glucose and nitrates. It's a product that

they still sell today. "We have added a

new product every year since then,"

says Patel, "Most of which we still sell.

However, one or two have gone, as they

became antiques."

Home diagnostics

While they started on the diagnostic side,

there was also a personal interest. Says

Patel, "Sometimes I have seen products

that I thought could help with my own

control, but I also saw the opportunity for

improving diabetes control with diagnostic

devices either at GP level or for individuals

in the home."

In 1999 the pair came across the first

version of the CardioChek, their current

cholesterol testing device, at an exhibition

in Düsseldorf, Germany. Patel says, "We

took that on for GPs to be able to test

easily for cholesterol and it helped us to

slowly grow the business. By 2003, when

statins became an over-the-counter

product, one of the big pharmacy groups

thought it could be a good idea to test BHR founder and

director, Ramesh Patel

people in pharmacies for their cholesterol

levels and would then offer a statin if they

were found to have raised levels. Today

BHR has around 9000 CardioChek

units in place in surgeries, hospitals,

occupational health departments and

pharmacies in the UK, making it the No.1

product for heart health tests in primary

care. Government health checks are

indicated for people between the ages

of 40-to-74 and GPs and pharmacies

can use this to test for Total and HDL

cholesterol, triglycerides, calculate the

LDL cholesterol as well as the CHO/

HDL cholesterol ratio, which is then used

in cardiovascular risk assessment tools

continued over

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