Better Practices Lead to Greater ProfitsBy Miriam Bello | Mon, 04/20/2020 - 17:11
Q: What are your mid and long-term goals now that you have received the B Corp certification?
A: We are now the first pharmaceutical company in the world to be certified as a B Corp, which means we are now committed to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2035. Chiesi strongly wanted to change its business model to have a positive impact on the environment and society. We know this will be a long journey but it is one we have already started. We are working on reducing our carbon footprint at the manufacturing level by changing the way we produce our pharmaceutical products. At the same time, we are improving other processes, including how we move goods and even how we move ourselves within the city. Among our goals is to change our vehicle fleet to hybrid and later to full-electric units.
We intend to influence other companies, our customers and providers to adopt goals such as being a plastic-free company, using ecological materials and acting to prevent child labor. We have a long list of parameters that we ask our providers to fulfill. However, in Mexico this process is slower because many companies are not quite ready to deliver or to comply with all those requirements. Although our suppliers might have social responsibility programs, they are not focused yet on being a B Corp.
Q: How do you think this certification will reflect on your future clients or the public sphere?
A: When we talk about this concept with our clients and providers, they all seem interested. However, when it comes to taking action, there is hardly any participation. Companies are still at a very early stage because there needs to be an investment of time and money, which might not be reflected in short-term returns. Having said that, the point of adopting these practices is not to reduce profitability, because at the end of the day we need to remunerate our stakeholders. On the contrary, adopting these practices could even improve a company’s profitability and reduce costs because of the use of renewable or self-produced energy. Yes, there is an investment but the earnings that you later receive are greater.
Q: What challenges do you see in international companies being able to purchase and sell directly to the government?
A: If the tender ensures that the quality of the product is preserved and that the patent of the product is being respected, there should not be a problem. Country of precedence should not be an issue as long as COFEPRIS ensures that products cover all the needed requirements in terms of safety, quality and pharmacovigilance. Competition and a free-market environment are good as long as they ensure that the patient is not going to be endangered. We are worried that Mexico could be going in the direction of low-quality products – low quality generics, specifically – which would damage the healthcare system as a whole. Accepting products just to generate competition is a real problem. This also does not help to encourage innovation in Mexico nor innovation coming from outside. Quality cannot be sacrificed for competition, especially in healthcare-related practices.
Q: What expectations do you have for CUROSURF in the coming years?
A: Our expectations for 2019 were good. The Mexican market is attractive and there is enough openness to promote CUROSURF’s use. Unfortunately, the tender process was delayed in the second half of the year. However, we are optimistic for 2020. We hope that this scenario is going to change for the better and we are maintaining an optimistic approach. We hope to improve our performance in 2020 now that we have a more stable tender scenario.
Q: How has the new distribution scheme affected or impacted the pharmaceutical sector, especially innovative medicines?
A: Change is good. We all need to be open to change because this is how we evolve and make things better. What is missing is a clear plan for everyone to follow, as well as a timeline. In terms of communication, this year has not been the best because it has been difficult to follow all the changes that happened from one day to the other while trying to understand them with the little information that was provided.
Every time there is a new government, changes happen and the industry always faces challenges. We are open to change but we do ask for better communication, better planning and a clear schedule about the stages that will drive us to the final goal.
Chiesi Group is an Italian pharmaceutical manufacturer founded in 1935. It has 29 subsidiaries around the world, three manufacturing plants, five R&D centers and direct distribution in over 60 countries