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April 13, 2016
Globalisation and its effects have long been part of a debate within South America. There are those that view globalisation positively and as a form as development for a region and country. However and more prevalent, there are those that view globalisation as above all an economic perversion whereby dependence is profoundly and perversely asymmetrical. In line with this negative viewpoint, the critics of globalisation take the viewpoint that the wealthy need to exploit and squeeze out those who are poor in order to prosper. In the meantime, the poorest citizens of the population need to let themselves be exploited in order to survive in their squalid conditions. Latin America’s economy is growing extremely quickly and this new market is gaining more attention from the rest of the world as shown through foreign direct investment.
When applying globalisation to the business world, it provides those in the supply chain the possibility to tap into new markets and revenue streams, forging collaborations and partnerships abroad. The pharmaceuticals industry has found that as a result of globalisation they are able to test their products in geographically diverse areas. However, this has brought about an increase in fierce industry competition as well as, new logistical challenges.
The main reasons for the push of pharmaceutical companies into new or growing markets such as, Latin America is down to four main factors. As with any industry, cost reduction and access to new customer populations feature as some of the main causes that pharmaceutical companies are searching further afield. These new markets provide companies with the ability to develop new drugs as well as introduce existing products into the market whilst tapping into a new pool of usually high academic excellence and R&D expertise. The process starts whilst pharmaceutical companies look at reducing their costs and it is then that they realise that the country, has an untapped population with new or existing diseases to which the companies could seek to treat and research. According to the World Bank, the middle-class population in Latin America has increased from 103 million to 152 million and has therefore presented pharmaceutical companies with a new found interest and market.
However, by expanding and moving their operations abroad, pharmaceutical companies have met new challenges. Firstly, the different languages, governmental restrictions and possible culture clashes can make it difficult to get their product into the market which may already have established pharmaceutical products within the region. Secondly, with every country there are different rules and regulations that stipulate what can and cannot be done with regards to trials and can therefore hinder pharmaceutical research. Finally on the delivery side, by moving the supply chain further afield, companies encounter country-to-country customs regulations that they need to adhere to.
For the future, and in order to get around these problems, the larger pharmaceutical companies will begin to use service providers when trying to run trials from the different areas in order to cut costs and ensure efficiency. Smaller providers will remain local or regional offering a specialised service and expertise and as previously stated the larger entities will search to create partnerships and joint ventures.
Some of the largest pharmaceutical firms have already moved into Latin America such as Pfizer, GSK and Sanofi-Aventis in search of making the most of this new and growing market. As shown by the companies that have already entered the market, Latin America’s economy is growing and offers new opportunities. With countries like Brazil, Chile and Colombia developing rapidly in terms of their economy, technology and healthcare, Latin America is bound to become a major player in the world’s pharmaceutical markets in the future.