Félix Scott
Director General and Country Chair
Sanofi
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View from the Top

Innovation a Key to Patient-Centric Care

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 11:28

Q: How does Sanofi approach patient-centric care in terms of products and therapies?

A: We are convinced that products by themselves are not enough. A holistic approach that includes pathology and solutions is required. It is essential to always take into account that beyond every product there is a patient. This is very important in healthcare, especially with therapies for chronic diseases. Sanofi has a broad portfolio and we are Mexico’s number one pharmaceutical company in number of drugs. Chronic diseases are a social concern that are related to lifestyle, which is why we are redefining treatment.

Q: How much of Sanofi’s R&D is conducted in Mexico?

A: We have a clinical research unit here that does research for Mexico and for some countries in the Latin American region. Mexico plays an important role in the implementation of Sanofi’s clinical studies and is top-of-mind when it comes to allocating those studies. The country is among Sanofi’s top five emerging economies and the Mexico branch ranks 10th among all global subsidiaries. Today, there are more than 35 active phase III and IV studies in Mexico. The country is one of Sanofi’s most important clinical research units for emerging countries. We also have a program with the Aspen Institute and UNAM that is focused on native research, in which we sponsor research by local professionals who are venturing into projects focused on local needs.

Q: What pharma-economic solutions can you offer the market to provide more access to innovative therapies?

A: We developed a monoclonal antibody to treat cholesterol. This innovative therapy is more efficient than statins, which are the usual treatment provided by public institutions. Patients treated with statins are still prone to heart attacks, which in the end will be more expensive than any therapy. We are seeing this purchasing behavior start to change and we hope that decisions begin to target innovation. We can provide patients with a solution that can return them to an active lifestyle, especially those with conditions like multiple sclerosis. An oral therapy might be cheaper than our solution but it causes more hospitalizations and is more expensive over the course of a lifetime, while an innovative solution will result in expenditures for only three years. We have patients who were treated with our therapies 20 years ago and have not needed further treatments, although we continue to follow their progress and symptoms. There is an opening in the healthcare system to include more innovative drugs but we must accelerate the process for chronic diseases. Many of our products are already included in the public system but we need to provide access to high-tech products and treatments.

Q: How does Sanofi provide healthcare professionals with access to innovation and how does that talent benefit the company?

A: We offer a continuous education platform (PAEC) that is the result of a cooperation agreement between Sanofi and the Ministry of Health. Many Ministry of Health doctors are certified in the programs offered through this platform. For example, we offer certification for treating diabetes. We do not promote any of our brands through this platform because our main objective is to increase the number of trained doctors. We have certified around 16,000 doctors through PAEC in just three years. There are about 14,500 family doctors actively participating in the platform. We want to continue developing talent in Mexico and we want to increase our team’s diversity. We are interested in nurturing talent in indigenous communities and we have developed a scholarship that helps train that talent. We also want to export talent from Mexico to Sanofi’s global subsidiaries.

Q: What are Sanofi’s priorities in Mexico?

A: We want to continue redefining health for Mexican patients, which means making the most of all the opportunities we have to promote significant change in patient health through the private or public sectors with innovation in drugs, training, support for doctors and through scientific research. For us it is important to bring Sanofi’s global innovation to Mexico.