“I am a doctor,” says company Founder Dr. Frank Mentz. “My priority is the service that we provide to patients. Money is not my driver.” The BPR group was founded by Dr. Mentz in 2008. “The idea was to connect laboratories which carry out similar activities,” he explains. “We integrated them into one large structure. When we began, there were six laboratories within the group; today there are 23. They are all independent, and they are shareholders of the BPR group, with a combined turnover of 800 million EUR. BPR works on behalf of all the member laboratories, who benefit from economies of scale in terms of logistics, purchasing power and union representation. We have our own union, through which we can communicate with the respective government authorities.”
BPR undertakes analyses and testing in a full range of medical disciplines, including pathology, haematology, genetics, autoimmunity, microbiology, endocrinology, and allergy testing which has become something of a specialist area for BPR.
Generally, a general practitioner prescribes an examination or test, and the patient goes to a laboratory and has, for example, a blood test, for which the analysis is undertaken on site in the laboratory. For more complex analyses, the laboratory sends the samples to BPR.
“As a rule, we can deliver the results within 24 hours,” points out Dr. Mentz. “We have 50 employees, and use 35 different delivery companies, which are all experienced in delivering medical materials, and observe the correct transport conditions including temperature control. In total, there are around 250 couriers, driving 35,000 km around France every single day. We also use a programme, which enables us to deliver the results of the analysis online, which speeds up the process significantly. We work round the clock, 24 hours a day.”
With its head office in Pannes, 120 km south of Paris, the only area in which BPR does not have a member laboratory is Brittany. In addition to the access that its union provides to the government authorities, the group is also well connected to other important institutions in the industry, including those which have contracts for studies into new products.
“In the past, we worked very closely with the pharmaceutical industry,” points out Dr. Mentz. “We are starting to consider whether we should become involved in research. This was not part of our original plan, but is something we are slowly thinking about.”
Today there are approximately 600 laboratories in France. However, the BPR group offers a very different concept. “Today the biology market has become very European; the boundaries have disappeared. Many other companies have been bought by large corporations, whereas we have remained independent,” Dr. Mentz stresses. “There are companies who want to grow, and they are usually sold to investors and pension funds. Our goal is to stay independent and not become reliant on any other organization.”
With its philosophy of putting humans at the heart of its service, BPR’s mission is to give patients access to the best specialists who use the most advanced techniques and equipment.
The company promises to deliver the best possible service where decisions are not driven by cost. This all-round combination ensures that its core values of excellence, innovation, engagement and ethics are never compromised. “We take our work very seriously, and we are very strict with ourselves,” underlines Dr. Mentz.
Although independence remains a core criteria, Dr. Mentz anticipates that BPR will continue to grow, and he also hopes it will retain the voice it has with the decision-making authorities. “We believe we have a structure in place which enables us to influence decisions. The group is large enough to justify having its own union, which means we are in a position to be able to communicate with government authorities, inform them of industry issues, and really say what we think.”