Read the Conversation

EF: What are Lilly’s priorities, opportunities, and challenges for 2024? 

KA: It is a privilege to lead a company with a rich history in the region. We will turn 80 in Brazil this year, and we turned 80 in Mexico last year. We are deeply dedicated to improving people’s lives.   

This year presents an opportunity for us to reinforce our commitment to Mexicans and Latin Americans as a whole. Mexico is undergoing a phase of transformation and growth. We are seeing the economy stabilize, which gives companies like ours great confidence and prospects for investments. 

My goal for 2024 is to bring innovation and make people's lives better. We are preparing to launch some of the most impactful molecules the healthcare system has ever experienced in the field of diabetes. Mexico is eagerly awaiting this launch due to the country’s high prevalence of diabetes. There is an unmet need in the country, as only 30 percent of Mexico’s patients living with diabetes are in control of their disease. We can partner with associations, institutions, and healthcare professionals to improve patients' lives significantly.  

On an internal level, we want to keep developing our talent. Lilly was recognized as one of the best places to work and build a career and was ranked among the top 10 companies. I have been with Lilly for 18 years and can attest to the company's exceptional career advancement opportunities. 

EF: How does Lilly's global commitment to innovation align with improving LATAM’s access speed? 

KA: Improving access through innovation is one of our main priorities. One of our objectives is to embrace technology to simplify work. This requires a cultural shift that will impact R&D and the way we treat patients. Mexico is a clinical trial powerhouse. We are actively engaged in numerous clinical trials and introducing many new molecules into the market. Our contributions account significantly for global samples, demonstrating our substantial impact on the industry. In recent years, we have managed to speed up the steps so that most of Lilly's new treatments are available in Latin American countries. Our goal is to launch an average of 2 new medicines each year in the region. 

Additionally, we are focused on expanding our manufacturing capabilities and supply chain to enhance the speed of delivering medications. Our innovative efforts extend to educating healthcare professionals about the benefits of our therapies. Using artificial intelligence, we can analyze health care professionals’ preferences to optimize interactions and information dissemination. AI also aids in assisting patients throughout their therapies. Adherence continues to be a difficult part of treatment, and we must support patients during this process.  

We are investing in developing the capabilities of our employees. This extends beyond artificial intelligence to encompass automation as well. By integrating previously manual or isolated processes, we aim to create interdependent systems that yield optimal insights for the company. We are also training our employees to refine and automate their own processes to increase efficiency. 

EF: How is Lilly leveraging collaborations with local capacities such as universities and start-up companies? 

KA: We are fully committed to this goal. The quantity and quality that a country can deliver are equally important.  In Latin America, there are many upcoming start-ups with great talent, and I can only expect us to grow. As for regulation, the government has committed to accelerating this growth through faster approvals. That is the only way to ensure that more studies or trials come to Mexico.  

The USMCA trade agreement has helped the pharma industry develop more interest in Mexico by delivering on intellectual property, innovation, and clinical trials. This paints a bright future for the country. We are a medicine company whose responsibility is also to generate alliances that allow us to implement strategic actions and tools that benefit the health systems in the countries where we are located. 

EF: What three aspects would improve the environment for investment in Mexico? 

KA: The first aspect would be focused on technology. We must streamline, simplify, and digitalize processes wherever we can. Secondly, we need to prioritize the delivery of agreements like the USMCA, with particular emphasis on fulfilling commitments such as intellectual property rights before the impending sunset review. Achieving this will enhance our country's appeal and generate interest and excitement. Lastly, we must keep expanding patient access. 

EF: How are you using partnerships and networks to raise awareness of diseases like diabetes and promote health in the region? 

KA: Currently, we are formulating a strategy to establish partnerships with the government and patient associations. It is essential to engage with relevant stakeholders and ensure they understand that early diabetes treatment not only saves lives but also reduces costs. We need to determine how to improve access to more affordable care for patients once they are undergoing treatment. 

Globally, we have established a goal, Lilly 30x30, where we are committed to benefiting 30 million people by 2030, we seek to improve access to healthcare for people in low-income groups. We have already positively impacted 1.5 million people in Mexico and will continue to grow this program including strategic collaborations with external partners to make life better for people around the world. 

This is an effort that includes strategic collaborations with external, non-profit partners dedicated to developing and providing tools that create enabling environments from evaluation and generation of replicable models to help improve healthcare. 

EF: How can we rebuild trust in the pharmaceutical industry to positively promote sustainable healthcare in Latin America and Mexico? 

KA: We believe in integrity, respect for people, and excellence. By adhering to these values, we can further cultivate trust. This commitment is shared across the industry, and we uphold local codes that advocate for best practices. At Lilly, transparency and patient benefit are central to our work, always building a world where everyone has access to health. Today, 51 million people in the world trust our innovative medicines, and it is for them that we are a Medicine Company that cares about people's futures and believes that health is everything. 

EF: What do you expect to celebrate by the end of the year? 

KA: I would like to hear that we launched several brands that will help more patients. I would also like to celebrate the strengthening of the pharma environment.  

Also, Lilly is moving into a new era — perhaps our most promising yet — we have plans to launch breakthrough medicines that will likely impact some of society’s most significant health challenges. We’re using this moment to help people around the world get to know Lilly: a medicine company that believes health is fundamental to our lives. 

Lastly, I aim to celebrate advancements in promotions, career development, and talent growth and hope to witness increased diversity and representation within our leadership. 

February 2024