Bolivia will soon boast a new pharmaceutical manufacturing complex – its first such facility. The complex is being launched with help from Cuba. Labiofam, a Cuban state-owned chemicals and pharmaceuticals company said that it will set up the manufacturing plant in Bolivia, allowing the latter to meet 100% of its basic requirement for medicines. It was only last month that the country updated its list of basic and essential medicines.
While construction will begin immediately, the plant is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2020. It will produce pharma products that will be used by both countries, as well as others in Latin America.
This latest announcement is part of a larger co-operation agreement signed by the two countries in May 2013. The agreement was signed to provide incentives for increased pharmaceutical production in Latin American countries.
As things stand currently, Bolivia relies on imports to fulfill as much as 70% of its pharmaceutical demand. This costs the country approximately US$56 million per year.
Director General of Labiofam, Jose Antonio Fraga, told a leading news agency that the project will benefit both countries by reducing prices of pharmaceutical products and provide Latin American consumers improved access to certain medicines. He said that overall, this project could have a very positive outcome for the healthcare system in Bolivia. He said that the project aims at meeting the unmet needs of poor consumers as the prices set by large pharmaceutical companies are often beyond their reach.
The industries at the new manufacturing complex will be able to enjoy subsidies and provide drugs at a small profit margin.