Pfizer: COVID-19 Vaccine Trials Demonstrate LeadershipBy Miriam Bello | Mon, 06/22/2020 - 09:42
Q: What is your view on the changes made to Mexico’s purchasing scheme?
A: For Pfizer Mexico, it is important to work alongside the government to help increase access to healthcare. We are committed to Mexico’s transformation through pharmaceutical advances that change patients’ life. We are convinced that we can build synergies with the government to make history by creating a patient-centric healthcare system, with quality, equity, transparency and human value that promotes preventive healthcare and is accessible and sustainable for everyone.
In order to be a strategic partner for the government, we are investing in the country to promote first-level R&D, developing new molecules, extending healthcare coverage and promoting access to innovative medicines. We applaud the administration’s priority on healthcare and its drive to improve the services and to work for universal coverage.
Q: How does Pfizer demonstrate its commitment to patient health in Mexico?
A: We always have worked in favor of the patient and is what makes us a global leader in the pharmaceutical sector. We continuously work to generate significant innovation and proof of this is Pfizer’s effort in developing a vaccine for COVID-19 in collaboration with BioNTech. The vaccine is based on Messenger RNA, an innovative technology that allows a quicker evaluation process and faster mass production. Phase 1/2 have been approved and the clinical trial is underway with up to 360 healthy individuals in the US. We are running tests on four vaccines and studies are designed to determine patient safety, immunogenicity and the optimal dosage. Pfizer is also ensuring it will have a global supply. We are expanding our manufacturing network so we can produce the vaccine quickly if our studies are successful. This is a clear example of our commitment to patients globally and, of course, my own commitment with Mexico.
Q: What were Pfizer Mexico’s biggest contributions in the past year?
A: We measure our success based on patients. I am very proud to say that in 2019 we reached more than 5 million patients in Mexico, meaning that they were treated with our products. We made a significant investment of US$8.5 million in our manufacturing plant in Toluca to make it a state-of-the-art production plant. Additionally, we invested US$15 million in R&D and we launched 12 new products related to women’s health, antibiotics and oncological medicine.
This year, we are investing US$25 million in R&D and in our manufacturing plant, while pushing for a launch of 13 new products in a two-year period. We will present oncological and inflammation therapies. One of these products is the first oncological biosimilar offered by Pfizer Mexico. This launch and our other upcoming biosimilars products are a priority to have more options of treatment and broader access for patients.
Q: Pfizer was recently awarded the Transparent Practices Certificate. How is this a reflection of the contributions that Pfizer has made to science and to patients’ lives?
A: Pfizer’s global leadership in not solely based on the financial aspect. We are very proud of our commitment to transparency. In Mexico, we have been named the pharmaceutical company with the best reputation for seven years in a row and the Transparent Practices Certificate is a reflection of our best practices. It is also a priority for us to maintain our leadership in this area.
Q: As the new head of Pfizer Mexico, what are your expectations for the company?
A: Our purpose is breakthroughs to change patients’ lives. Innovation in healthcare is synonymous with a better quality of life and the opportunity to save lives. To achieve this, we need to invest in R&D and to create global platforms to accompany the patient. The company invests 15 percent of its global budget in R&D and in Mexico, investment in this area continues to be a priority, in fact eleven percent of Pfizer’s global studies are done in the country. Our goal is to continue bringing innovative medicines to our portfolio in Mexico, broader our impact in patients in the country, while continue our leadership in reputation and transparency.
Another expectation is to contribute to Mexico’s productive and economic growth. We have 1,660 collaborators and generate 19,000 indirect jobs in the country.
Q: In your opinion, what are Pfizer Mexico’s coming challenges and opportunities?
A: The biggest challenge is the COVID-19 pandemic and the “new normal” that will follow. We need to see the opportunities hidden behind these difficulties. Pfizer is striving to strengthen its position in the digital world, which I think is very helpful to face the pandemic and prepare for what is coming. We are convinced that now, more than ever, with the help of the industry, society and government, we can join together to protect people’s lives, safeguard employment, maintain financial stability and support businesses and families.
Pfizer is one of the largest multinational biopharmaceutical corporations in the world. It is headquartered in New York City and in 2018, it ranked 57th on Fortune’s list of the 500 largest US corporations by total revenue