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EF: You were appointed General Manager of Mexico and Distribution Leader for Latin America a year ago. What was your mission given when appointed, has it evolved over-time and why were you the right person for the job?
MC: I am familiar with Latin America. Before I was appointed General Manager, I had the opportunity to work in Amgen Mexico as Business Unit Director and this helped me to understand the background of the Mexican market and gave me the amazing opportunity to bring innovative options to treat serious diseases. I feel very passionate about what I do and the impact it has on the life of so many people. Our mission is to serve patients in need, this is embedded in all our actions dealing with life-threatening diseases, giving important solutions which are life-changing for our patients. My specific mission for Mexico is to make a dramatic difference in reaching as many patients as possible and to impact as many people’s lives as possible with the therapeutic solutions that we offer, and we are doing this through a very important portfolio. To this end, we have a very dynamic team in Mexico to convey our message as effectively as possible, aiming to be partners to the healthcare system bringing solutions to patient’s physicians, and sustainability to the system and impacting society positively.
EF: After more than 20 years’ experience in the healthcare sector, what is your personal definition of access?
MC: The meaning of access can vary but, in the end, I think access means that the health system can provide every patient with the medicine that requires at the time that is needed. Having access means that safe and effective therapies with the appropriate indications can be available to patients through health coverage.
EF: Your portfolio of products is mainly designed around non-communicable diseases and with the COVID pandemic, the need for a mixed approach is evident. How do you ensure the continuity of the business?
MC: It is a challenge but at the same time it is a good moment to be part of such a change. As leaders and health care providers, we have no option but to embrace these changes, reshape absolutely the business model. We must be increasingly creative to respond to the needs of patients that are suffering the impact of the pandemic which many times limits their ability to get attention for chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis or cardiovascular diseases. Patients with diseases like osteoporosis or cardiovascular are suffering because they might not feel the urgency to go to a hospital since their symptoms or progression are not visible. There are opportunities to work with authorities to respond to these challenges and deliver medicines to patients at their homes. We are looking for alternatives for cancer patients so that they are not exposed to the risk of going to a hospital. There are huge risks of not perceiving a serious disease, and we can offer solutions to the ecosystem even in these challenging times. We are not a company with experience in infectious diseases, our first approach is on biology and with our technology, we could have a huge impact on society and the pharmaceutical industry. We understand the biology of diseases, how proteins and cells work. We have taken the challenge of understanding the biology of Covid-19 transmission and mutation which is the first step to doing something meaningful, reliable, safe and long term. Amgen has a subsidiary in Iceland called deCODE Genetics which is studying this, we are doing our part, not as a race to win but as a contribution to society in a time of need. Additionally, we are doing clinical tests on one of our molecules to analyze its potential impact treating inflammation derived from COVID and once we understand the mechanisms and the genetics we could offer an option to tackle the disease and add to the world´s effort in curbing this pandemic.
EF: In your decision making to achieve your mission while bringing value to society, how do you balance the strategic and tactical approach?
MC: Our mission is, above all, to serve patients. Patient centricity comes first, and we will not compromise that. We are confident in our belief that if we provide value to society and serve patients, we cannot go wrong.
EF: What will be the role of technology?
MC: That is a great question, we wouldn’t even be here without technology. We are certain that technology and science will get us out of the current situation. Given the strong connections and mobility among people, we will not have a new normal until we have a vaccine that is effective, safe and widely distributed. For this reason, we are dependent on science and technology to save us from the pandemic. Secondly, I think we are living exciting times in terms of change and opportunity of bringing added value to patients and our stakeholders. There has been an acceleration of digital interactions within the company and with our customers. Communications have been ramped up to remotely convey our value propositions to our stakeholders, so they have the information when and how they need it by way of a well-coordinated multi-channel strategy.
We need to embrace innovation; the future includes self-carried devices and self-monitoring devices. All the developments around telemedicine are absolutely critical and as an industry, we need to provide solutions to the healthcare professionals and our patients. Telemedicine and digital health devices are here and coming to stay.
EF: What is Mexico’s contribution to global operations? What is your footprint in Mexico?
MC: Mexico is the second-largest market in the region and we definitely play an important role not only in the financial contribution to the Latin American region but also in the development of strategies and tactics in a very competitive industry. We are a very important region for the global company; we have been increasing our participation in clinical trials since it is important to have diverse and local data and collaborate with local investigators benefitting the patients that often have little or no options. Finally, we are one of the fastest-growing countries, therefore we have a commitment to reaching more patients which is our goal and motivation.
EF: How is the global portfolio adapted to Mexico´s disease map, and how is its performance?
MC: Our global portfolio includes oncology, haematology, nephrology, cardiovascular diseases, bone health, and we also have a portfolio of biosimilars which is becoming increasingly relevant. As governments and individuals struggle with limited resources, we are bringing innovation and solutions for the sustainability of the health system. We have a portfolio of 4 biosimilars already approved and commercialized in several countries and another three in clinical development which has the potential to improve the ability of the payer to sustain the system and reach more patients, which I am very proud of.
EF: Being part of the new generation of managers in the pharma industry your decisions today will have an impact for years down the road, as a decision taking leader what would you like 2020 to be remembered for?
MC: I would like 2020 to be remembered not only for the year that changed the way the industry works but also for being the year that bought together industry, science, government and society towards reaching a common goal: solving the Covid-19 pandemic. We are already living the promise of this collaboration; a vaccine will be available in the coming months as well as other solutions to this disease. This development is demonstrating that all sectors of society can work together when we have a common goal. That is very unique. Also, it is an opportunity for Mexico to rethink our health system. We need a system that is resilient and that can cover the needs of the Mexican people. Amgen and I are ready to be part of the group that reshapes the way we operate and bring value to the Mexican healthcare ecosystem, in our case offering therapeutic solutions and the right conditions for patients and the System to get safe and effective medicines in a new and challenging environment.