This agility is exemplified by Zerpa's decision to "create a sales structure with representatives specially trained to support
our institutional clients, such as hospitals, patient programs, and CENABAST. The Chilean government has been modernizing
the public healthcare system over the years, and we must ensure that our services take these reforms into account so that
patients have wider access to our products. I am confident that this will also make our products and services more competitive—vis-à-vis
low-cost generics." Beyond their sales strategies, Pfizer has seized the advantages of Chile's updated regulatory environment
and rich scientific community for clinical research and has already completed 49 of its trials in the country. Even more impressive
is Sanofi-Aventis' dedicated clinical research center in Santiago that in 2009 invested US$6.3 million into its operations.
Katia Trusich, General Manager of Genzyme
Indeed Mauricio Rosas, managing director of Merck's pharmaceutical division, also believes that the current environment is
promising for innovators. "Even though we are facing tough competition from generics and private labels, we are still top-of-mind
for our clients. Our sales force is exceptional because it has managed to build strong relationships with the practitioners,"
he says. Their sales prowess is so impressive that they have been asked by BMS, AstraZeneca, and Novartis to commercialize
some of their products in the Chilean market. "If we include the BMS products that we distribute, then Chile is actually the
country with the highest market share for Merck in Latin America. Moreover, Chile represents 5% of the Latin American operations
in terms of sales for the group, which is a very good figure taking into consideration that the Chilean pharmaceutical market
in general is only 3% of Latin American sales," details Rosas. Riding on the company's local excellence, he foresees that
"in the next few years the market is expected to grow at 6% and we plan to maintain our growth rate at the actual level of
12%." With such figures it is evident that global innovators have learned the ways of the Chilean market and are taking advantage
of the opportunities being created by the optimized healthcare sector. MSD general manager Henrik Secher expresses this best
by saying: "I wouldn't say that we have completely resolved these issues in Chile, but we have been dealing with them for
a lot more time here and this means that we have greater chances to fight back and to leverage our position."