The Business Year

Ana Dolores Román

ECUADOR - Health & Education

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General Manager, Pfizer

Bio

Ana Dolores Román has worked for Pfizer since August 2002. After various roles in marketing she was named Commercial Director for Pfizer Peru & Bolivia, and since December 2012 she has been General Manager. She obtained her MBA from San Francisco University in Quito. She is also President of the Board of IFI, the pharmaceutical R&D chamber in Ecuador.

"We have two different channels for growth in Ecuador: the trade channel and the institutional channel."

Pfizer is present in almost every country in the world. What is the significance of the Ecuadorean market?

Pfizer ranks number four in Ecuador’s pharmaceutical market, and has been present in Ecuador for nearly 60 years. With more than 100 products in the market, we are active in virtually all therapeutic segments. We employ 140 colleagues across our three pharmaceutical offices nationwide. Pfizer Ecuador will continue to strengthen its portfolio, as it is an important market for the company in Latin America.

Does strengthening your portfolio mean broadening into other healthcare areas that are not currently your strengths in Ecuador?

At this time, we are focused on strengthening our portfolio in existing areas, rather than expanding it into different ones. We have an important presence in many therapeutic areas, such as cardiovascular, nervous system, and oncology. This year we will have launched four new medicines in diverse segments, including pain, oncology, and rheumatoid arthritis. We have had the opportunity to launch different molecules that are well known worldwide, as well as others that have been recently launched in markets such as the US. We want to maintain and strengthen our portfolio in Ecuador, with the end goal being to have as many products domestically as we do worldwide. Every day, within Pfizer’s walls, our colleagues are searching for innovation with a purpose. On a daily basis, Pfizer is working to create new state-of-the-art medicines having entirely new mechanisms of action.

What would you identify as the key factors driving growth in Ecuador’s pharmaceutical market today?

We have two different channels for growth in Ecuador: the trade channel and the institutional channel. While we have different strategies for each, the goal is always to strengthen the volume and patients’ access to quality medicines. Access is the driving force behind our strategies for both channels.

“We have two different channels for growth in Ecuador: the trade channel and the institutional channel.”

You have mentioned the concept of access. What do you mean by that?

Access means the ability to serve as many patients and communities as possible and to broaden the pathologies our medicines can cover. Our goal is to enable patients to have easy and affordable access to the best medicines and treatments for their health conditions.

Is your relationship with the government an important part of your business?

The government is, without a doubt, an important partner for us. We share the same goal of serving as many patients as possible. We are a provider for the government, and we take that responsibility very seriously. For example, we have innovative oncology drugs for several types of cancer available in the public sector, as well as primary care products that cover a wide variety of patients.

How has Ecuador’s approach to compulsory licensing affected the way you do business here?

This is a very important issue. Threats of compulsory licenses create uncertainty in the business environment. We believe that unwarranted or routine compulsory licensing of patents undermines innovation incentives, and could result in fewer new medicines being developed. The protection of intellectual property is vital to the progress of medicine; it is the driving force behind pharmaceutical companies continuing to research and develop medicines that treat incurable diseases and other unmet medical needs. As such, we believe that the unwarranted compulsory licensing of a patented medicine is counterproductive to innovation in the health sector and jeopardizes the future welfare of patients.

Do you feel that the government is open to dialogue with the pharmaceutical industry on these issues?

We certainly believe that productive dialogue is possible with the government and we are grateful for those individuals and offices who have explored these important issues with us. We look forward to continuing our dialogue this way.

What is your approach to human capital and providing development opportunities for your staff?

Pfizer’s success is due to the incredible talent of my colleagues. One of my main goals has been to continue developing talent within the company. Over the past two years, I have had the opportunity to provide career opportunities to 20 colleagues. I believe in helping colleagues achieve their goals by helping them have a strong understanding of the market and enhancing their academic background. We have very talented people in Ecuador, and I believe in opportunity for all. I am also proud of the fact that over 50% of our employees are women. A lot of them are mothers. We are proud to be a company that is good to mothers. We understand and value the importance of balancing one’s personal and professional life.

Looking ahead, how do you perceive Pfizer in Ecuador in five to 10 years’ time?

In that time frame, we hope to be in a position of increased strength, with an expanded portfolio and operations in Ecuador so that we can continue to provide to as many patients as possible the best gold-standard products across different therapeutic areas. Our goal is to remain a leader in the pharmaceutical space and to be respected by society.

© The Business Year – August 2014

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