Marco Ruggiero
General Manager
Chiesi México
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View from the Top

Family-Owned Pharma’s Drug Formulation a Difference Maker

Wed, 09/05/2018 - 12:11

Q: What are Chiesi’s main contributions to improving access to health in Mexico?

A: Chiesi focuses on three main therapeutic areas: respiratory, neonatology and rare diseases. Despite the competitive respiratory environment reflected in the Mexican market, the key element of differentiation is the drug formulation. Thanks to its focus on research and development, Chiesi developed an extra-fine particle formulation that enables the drug to reach and treat both large and small airways (peripheral arteries of the lung), while all our competitors can only reach the large airways. In neonatology, Chiesi is a world leader in the treatment of pre-term infants affected by respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) thanks to CUROSURF, a natural surfactant in intra-tracheal suspension. Launched in Mexico in 2004, it gained an uncontested leadership and contributed to save the life of more than 3.5 million babies worldwide. In the rare and ultra-rare diseases segment, Chiesi is continuously cooperating with universities and institutions to reduce unmet medical needs and their social impact.

Chiesi Mexico is the uncontested leader in neonatology with CUROSURF and PEYONA, which represent around 70 percent of total turnover. Additionally, the company is committed to developing its respiratory line, launched less than four years ago, improving diagnoses and treatment of asthma and COPD.

Q: How does Chiesi build successful alliances to license, develop and market medicines that improve patients’ lives?

A: Chiesi interacts with all Mexican stakeholders, both in public and private sector. In special care, sales are distributed 70 percent to the government and 30 percent to the private sector, while in primary care the almost the entire business is done in private sector. However, Chiesi seeks to establish alliances with all the players in the health sector in the countries where it is located. In fact, for the rare diseases pipeline, we work with NGOs to reach patients and gather information on the composition of the patient population. In all our divisions, we collaborate with public-private institutions, hospitals, research centers, universities and other pharmaceutical companies to pursue the concepts of innovation and patients’ centricity.

Q: What role does Mexico play in Chiesi’s Latin America strategy?

A: Chiesi’s revenue totals US$2 billion per year and Mexico represents around 15 percent of its total revenue in Latin America. Besides Mexico, the company has another affiliate in Brazil; all other countries are covered by indirect operations. Chiesi wishes Mexico’s participation to be more in line with the market potential and the size of the country’s population.

Q: Constant innovation is vital for the pharmaceutical market to grow steadily. How does Chiesi contribute in this area?

A: At the moment, we do not conduct R&D in Mexico but we are collaborating with doctors in our global network and the country to participate in research for the products that we have already launched. Most of our R&D work takes place in Europe and in the US, so it is not urgent to develop this division in Mexico, which might offer the necessary incentives and legislation to promote innovation. Besides the big changes already done, the health authorities could accelerate regulatory processes while maintaining the firmness of their assessments to attract more investment.

Q: What actions is Chiesi taking to improve its competitiveness in Mexico?

A: Mexico recently signed a trade agreement with the EU and we hope our operations can benefit from this treaty. This year has generated some uncertainty by the relation with the US. Chiesi faces this uncertain environment with a redesign of its commercial strategies. We hope that once the political uncertainty has passed, the acquisition of pharmaceutical products by public institutions continues.