Rafael Gual
Director General
CANIFARMA
/
View from the Top

A Strategic Sector for the Development of Mexico

Sat, 09/01/2018 - 11:56

Q: What advances have been made in the contract between IMSS, CANIFARMA and COFEPRIS to facilitate clinical research?

A: The plan is moving forward. We continue to work on several projects, although not as many as we would like. But we have brought more research into the Seguro Social than ever before. The potential is very high as we could do almost 10 times as many projects than what we are doing right now. Along with the universal trends in research, the priority areas are chronic diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neuroscience and cancer.

Q: CANIFARMA has several goals for 2020 in areas that include sanitary regulation, research and innovation and economic development and industry policy. How are you working in each area?

A: I believe we have moved forward in many fields. We are working to elaborate the Program of the Pharmaceutical Industry Development (PRODIF) 2019- 2024 and the main factors are the same as PRODIF 2013-2018, but with a different order of priorities. For this new plan, the right to healthcare is the priority, especially as it relates to access to new technologies and research and the adoption of new therapies. The second axis is innovation and research. The third is industrial policy and the fourth, regulation. It is not that we are diminishing the importance of regulation but because we have made progress on this topic we decided to focus our attention in other areas.

The Ministry of Health recognizes the pharmaceutical sector as for the Mexican economy. We have been waiting for a joint declaration from the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Health that highlights the importance of the industry. This will open many doors with CONACyT, ProMéxico and Bancomext that will result in fiscal stimulus, just like in other strategic sectors. The priority is to become the clinical research hub for Latin America, and for that we have an enviable infrastructure.

Q: The CANIFARMA Award 2017 was awarded to a study that showed Transkrip, a cervical cancer drug, can also be used to treat skin lymphoma. How is the chamber promoting the submission of projects like this?

A: In general, the award is promoted by word of mouth. It has been around for many years and every year we receive projects that are more oriented to practical applications. Now, we are seeing projects that have industrial and social benefits and applications. We also want to organize an innovation fair to connect those researchers who participate in the award with pharmaceutical companies, thus fostering direct applications.

Q: Thanks to new guidelines, pharmaceuticals can advertise their products on TV, radio and in print. How will this impact the industry?

A: Companies might disagree with my opinion but the new COFEPRIS guideline homologating the advertising regulation regarding personal hygiene products with that for antibiotics and antivirals does not respect several legal dispositions of the General Health Law. A company that eventually applies this guideline could be breaking the regulatory rules. As a chamber we are going to promote a nullity trial because if a judge rules that the guideline is correct, this will work as a defense for the pharmaceutical company in any situation.

Q: What is the view of the chamber’s members regarding the NAFTA renegotiation?

A: This is an area in which the pharmaceutical industry is not greatly impacted. There are many pharmaceutical companies established here. Moving a pharma plant entails many complications. New permits, new licenses and if the company is an exporter it must be visited by the authorities of other countries. We are shielding the topic of rules of origin. All countries agree that a tax change related to pharma is not viable. The impact of NAFTA on the pharma industry in Mexico will be related to the impact on the overall economy of the country.