Read the Conversation

EF: What was your mission when you were appointed, and what are your current priorities?

RC: First and foremost, at Amgen, our global mission is "To Serve Patients". For Amgen in Brazil, our newly formulated vision entails expanding access so more patients can benefit from our medicines and becoming the leading biotech company for patients, stakeholders, and our valued staff members. This goal will guide our endeavors in the upcoming years.

What does that mean concretely? For us, the priorities are clear: to ensure the availability of our products for patients, particularly within the public sector of Brazil, and to strive for continued, sustainable growth of our business in an ethical way. These two key priorities will shape our actions and decisions going forward.

EF: On a global level, what strategic importance does Brazil have to Amgen?

RC: Amgen established its presence in Brazil over a decade ago, and we are now a set market participant delivering a portfolio of several innovative medicines and three biosimilars to patients in Brazil. Looking ahead, we are expecting high double-digit growth rates, which means that more and more patients will benefit from our medicines. In short, Brazil is an important market for Amgen.  

EF: Can you elaborate on how Amgen is conducting clinical trials and boosting research and innovation in Brazil?

RC: To support our mission to serve patients, Amgen aims to discover, develop, and deliver life-changing medicines for patients everywhere. Working to meet the needs of as many patients as possible at a time when biotechnology and the data sciences are advancing at blinding speed, Amgen is focused on pursuing first-in-class and best-in-class therapies with large effects on serious diseases. That includes all stages of clinical trials on a global scale. Clinical trials yield numerous benefits, from early access to new treatments for patients and physicians to developing and delivering innovative medicines, while also creating jobs and fostering national progress. Last year, Brazil ranked among the three markets for Amgen for clinical trials. Given its diverse population, it is a great place to do our research that aligns with Amgen's commitment to diversity in our clinical trials. It is fantastic to witness the progress made in the past two to four years, underscoring Brazil's undeniable importance as a key market in this field.

EF: How do you think precision medicine is advancing in Latin America?

RC: In Latin America, personalized medicine has made significant strides. Recent news highlighted a remarkable case in Brazil. A patient achieved near-complete remission from cancer after exploring various alternative treatments, ultimately benefiting from stem cells. This positive outcome exemplifies the potential of personalized medicine and hints at the future direction of pharmaceutical and biotech innovation. With its profound significance and captivating nature, this segment merits keen observation as it continues to evolve.

EF: What products in your pipeline and portfolio in Brazil are you most excited about?

RC: Our current product portfolio addresses serious diseases across five areas, namely hematology, oncology, bone health, cardiovascular, and inflammation. Additionally, we have dedicated efforts to developing innovative products in Oncology, Cardiometabolic Disease, and Inflammation. We are establishing a presence in the biosimilars market, with a promising lineup currently available and in development.

Specifically in the fields of cancer and osteoporosis, as the population ages, there is a bigger need for treatments in those areas and a rising number of individuals who could benefit from them, including those still waiting to receive adequate care. For example, we are excited about a recent milestone in Brazil, launching our product for non-small cell lung cancer, with further developments in the pipeline.  

Concerning osteoporosis, our commitment to bone health through our portfolio is making a difference. One in every five women who share a fracture related to this disease succumbs to its consequences within a year, placing an immense burden on society. Our products have the potential to assist patients who have experienced fractures or those who are already osteoporotic and at risk of fractures. By raising awareness and working closely with the Brazilian government, we are striving to address this critical issue. The recent inclusion of important products in both the Conitec and SUS lists marks a noteworthy advancement for patients in Brazil, and we eagerly anticipate the further development of this treatment to alleviate the suffering caused by this disease.

EF: What are the main pillars to make a health business sustainable in Brazil?

RC: For governments, it is key to see healthcare as an investment in society. This includes paving the way for innovations to come to market and the ability to predict and prevent diseases from the dual pillars upon which future healthcare success rests.  

Investing in innovation enables access to groundbreaking treatments that address patient needs.  Insurers and healthcare policies must embrace these advancements, as relying on outdated medications poses future challenges for societies.  

In addition, prioritizing prediction and prevention is paramount for the government's healthcare strategy, ensuring early intervention and avoiding the dire consequences of untreated conditions. Consider osteoporosis, where failure to treat can lead to fractures, subsequent recurrence, and even mortality. The economic and societal costs of bedridden patients far outweigh the investment in preventive measures. Hematology has witnessed great progress, notably in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treatment, where our Conitec-approved medicine has demonstrated remarkable efficacy, particularly for children. Similarly, in the realm of cancer, early detection, and preventive measures significantly impact patient outcomes, while innovative therapies extend lives.  

The global population is experiencing a notable shift toward aging demographics. Birth rates have declined, leading to an older population, while life expectancies continue to rise. Considering these trends, prioritizing investments in healthcare becomes vital for governments to establish a sustainable foundation for the future.

EF: What are some of your key accomplishments in Amgen as a manager, and what do you hope for in the next five years in Brazil?

RC: My journey in Brazil has been incredibly captivating, spanning almost a year. As a leader, one of my primary focuses is nurturing our greatest asset—our people. I devote much of my time each day to this endeavor, engaging in meaningful conversations, understanding their needs, and fostering a safe and collaborative work environment. Building the best teams remains my utmost priority, and I emphasize transparent communication and cross-functional collaboration as essential components of our strategy.  

Our dedication to shaping the future involves meticulous planning and readiness to navigate the evolving landscape. After establishing exceptional teams, our focus shifts to proactively anticipating and comprehending the business landscape through horizon scanning. This entails diligently assessing future challenges and opportunities, collaborating closely with our teams, and implementing effective strategies to seize opportunities and overcome obstacles in an ethical way.

Lastly, our third priority is the unwavering commitment to delivering results. We strive to consistently deliver for every patient, every time, by providing a diverse range of high-quality products. This commitment extends to our patients and dedicated staff members, fostering growth within our organization.

Additionally, it is important to mention Amgen´s commitment to diversity and inclusion. By promoting an inclusive working environment and developing affirmative initiatives and awareness around minority groups, we attract and retain talents and foster the company’s reputation.  

August 2023