Cuba to access global pharmaceutical markets via Brazil
- Submitted by: manso
- Editorial Articles
- 09 / 25 / 2011
Just as Ecuador is buying hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Cuban drugs and vaccines, the island’s budding pharmaceutical industry is trying to access more developing markets by way of Brazil.
Brazilian Health Minister Alexandre Rocha Santos Padilha and his Cuban peer, Roberto Morales, signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday in Havana under which Brazil will make and distribute a Cuban diabetes drug and 11 cancer products. The ministers also signed an agreement about clinical research cooperation on cancer vaccines.
If fully implemented, the 58 cooperation projects could generate $200 million worth of sales, according to Padilha. The agreements involve Brazil’s Instituto Nacional do Câncer (Inca), the National Agency of Sanitary Controls (Anvisa), the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), the ministry of science and technology, and the Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES), as well as “large Brazilian companies in the health sector,” according to the Brazilian health ministry.
Under the memorandum of understanding, Brazilian-Cuban joint ventures would not only produce and distribute Heberprot-P and 11 cancer products in Brazil, but export them to other countries. Heberprot-B, developed by the Center of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (CIBG) in Havana, reduces diabetes-related foot ulcers, a widespread health problem that often leads to amputation.
Cuban-Brazilian drug production in Brazil will “contribute to the reduction of the trade deficit, because Brazil is importing nearly all its inputs,” Padilha said, according to the Brazilian health ministry.
A new chapter of global health efforts is beginning, as the United Nations is beginning to tackle non-contagious diseases such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension, Padilha said.
“We expect to take concrete steps regarding cooperation, not only between our peoples but for the rest of the world, which hopes to be closer to access to medicine as a basic right to health,” the Brazilian minister said, according to AIN.
Another part of the agreement includes cooperation in the treatment of vaginal infections, hemorrhoids and injuries caused by the HPV virus.
Padilha and a Brazilian delegation toured the CIBG and the Center of Molecular Immunology (CIM) in Havana Friday. During a visit at the Latin American Medical School (ELAM), Padilha said that the 500-plus Brazilians who have graduated from ELAM will be supported with a Brazilian government program to validate their degrees in the South American country. Some 600 Brazilians are currently studying at ELAM.
Brazil and Cuba have cooperated in biotechnology and sanitary programs in the South American country since 1996. In 2006, a Cuban-Brazilian joint venture began developing and producing three biotechnology products in Brazil.
Brazil is also co-funding the reconstruction of Haiti’s health system, a Cuban-led program.