Chilean Pharma: Exploring Beyond Copper - Pharmaceutical Executive


Chilean Pharma: Exploring Beyond Copper

Pharmaceutical Executive


Jose Manuel CousiÑo, executive Vice President of CIF
As a direct consequence of healthcare optimization, international innovators are seeing greater opportunities to grow their operations in the Chilean market. Jose Manuel CousiÑo, executive vice president of the Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Chile (CIF), representing the international innovators in Chile, explains that the country "has the advantage that it is an economy truly based on the notion of free trade and competition." Now that the playing field has been leveled for the MNCs, due to better regulation by the authorities and greater access to innovative products within the public system, the possibilities for major growth are within grasp. As a strategic consulting partner to the Chilean pharmaceutical sector, Rodrigo Castillo, business manager for IMS Health in Chile, provides a more in-depth analysis when explaining that innovators "suffered more in Chile up until 10 to 15 years ago, when there was no patent protection and the competition [there] was very strong. At this point in time, Chile has managed to learn how to compete and are in a better position." Furthermore, "multinationals are now consolidating and improving their market share and have future plans of getting their products into the GES program, which would highly benefit them," says Castillo. This renewed momentum is also evident in the sharp increase of clinical trials that are being conducted in the country by them with the aim that innovation is valued for its worth in the local market. "Chile has great research centers and universities and a very good scientific community, which makes it attractive for these kinds of studies," concludes CousiÑo. The country has also updated is clinical research legislation to accelerate the work of ethics committees and the approval times for trials and is now the fourth-largest market for clinical trials in the region.

Monica Zerpa, General Manager of Pfizer
Leading the innovator revolution in Chile is none other than megalith Pfizer, who today is following close on the heels of the national pharma companies coming in as the No. 1 MNC in the country. Undoubtedly the company has benefited from its recent acquisition of Wyeth, not only in the expansion of its product portfolio and sales force, but also because Pfizer Chile general manager, Monica Zerpa, was the former general manager of Wyeth in Chile. Ever the optimist, and one of the very few top women executives in the industry, Zerpa believes that Pfizer has "many opportunities here, thanks to the solid regulatory framework for the pharmaceutical market and to the country's economic and political stability." She is of the opinion that MNCs brought upon their own past failures in the Chilean market because they chose to focus on the challenges of the industry. "I think multinational pharmaceutical companies in Chile have remained very static in their approach and we must become more flexible regarding the prices, services, and access to products that we offer. We need to learn how to become more agile and responsive to this dynamic market, and that's what I aim to bring to the company," she says.


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