On past May 13, the Latin American Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry (FIFARMA) held its virtual regional meeting focused on the COVID-19 issues and challenges faced by the industry.
First, Alec Lee -HealthCare Research Director, Ducker Frontier- presented the medium- and long-term future for the different markets in Latin America under COVID-19. He noted that the slow growth of the economy in the coming years will affect the medical capacity of all countries. Therefore, the goal for the region will be investing in telemedicine and data analysis through public and private institutions, so that the ground is prepared for an upcoming pandemic or epidemic.
On the other hand, Dr. Charles Preston -Advisor, Regulatory System Strengthening in Medicines and other Health Technologies, PAHO (Pan American Health Organization)- was invited to discuss the challenges, PAHO’s response to COVID-19, and the regulatory actions they have supported. From the organization they have established a network with national regulatory authorities from the entire region, and they meet weekly to share information and make updates on regulatory issues. This has enabled the purchase of evidence, medicines, treatments, and in the future, it will allow a prompt purchase of vaccines. Likewise, a website was created where authorizations are monitored, announcements are made and the information for each country is updated.
As last guest, Thomas Cueni -Director General, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA)- spoke about the COVID-19 management implemented by the Federation. He emphasized the industry’s sense of responsibility at this time, as it is the industry that has the tools to contain COVID-19 with the creation of treatments and, one of these days, eradicate COVID-19 with a vaccine. He clarified that IFPMA is working with governments, multilateral organizations, and foundations “because no one can fight the virus alone.”
FIFARMA held a strategic discussion reaffirming the industry’s commitment to find a prompt solution to this global situation and support countries to improve healthcare systems for patients. Members of the 2020-2021 Steering Committee were also announced. In view of the current global COVID-19 crisis and in order to maintain stability in FIFARMA’s policies to address the same, it was unanimously accepted that César Rodríguez -Vice President Latin America (LATAM) Janssen International- will continue as Chair for the aforementioned period. César will be accompanied at the Steering Committee by Om Arora, Regional President for Latin America, Pfizer; Florencia Davel General Manager for Latin America, Bristol Myers Squibb; and Yaneth Giha, Afidro Executive President, as Co-Chairs.