O. Fonticoba Gener
IN an effort to better integrate Cuba’s biotechnological and pharmaceutical industries, and as a part of the general reorganization of management structures currently underway to support the updating of the country’s economic model, the enterprise group BioCubaFarma has been established.
The new Central Organization of Enterprise Management will include entities involved in research, production and sales of medications, high-tech equipment and services; other service providers currently functioning as part of the Scientific Complex, as well as the QUIMEFA pharmaceutical company.
This reorganization - established by the Council of Ministers with Decree No. 307/2012 and Resolution No. 590/2012 of the Ministry of Economy and Planning (MEP) – should allow for improved quality standards and exports, as a result of more efficient use of facilities and equipment and, most importantly, the country’s human resources. The new structure should contribute to greater scientific and technological development.
The process of forming the state enterprise group BioCubaFarma will move forward gradually, over the course of the year, according to the MEP resolution.
To date, several steps have been taken based on the policy which defines the basic principles guiding the organization’s functioning.
This initial work included the participation of all the entities involved, as well as a representative group of leaders and experts from the organizations to be integrated, in addition to other national bodies.
THE NEW ENTERPRISE GROUP
The stated mission guiding the work of BioCubaFarma is the production of medications, high-tech equipment and services destined to improve the people’s health; the creation of advanced technology for the production of food; and exportable goods and services, all on the basis of further scientific-technological development.
With this objective, the 60 entities which now comprise the Scientific Complex and QUIMEFA will be consolidated to form the enterprise group, which will include a central management body and 38 companies – 16 devoted to production, 19 to sales and three to the provision of services.
The new organization will function as one, guided by enterprise principles, meaning that entities within the Scientific Complex which have been financially supported by the state, with budget allocations, will become self-financing bodies.
With this reorganization, the country’s 14 producers of generic medicines will be consolidated into six companies, which should favorably impact efficiency, allowing for more rational use of production capacity. The reorganization of processes will also make possible a reduction in the number of employees not directly involved in production.
According to Council of Ministers Decree No. 307, BioCubaFarma will be a Central Organization of Enterprise Management, subordinate to the Council of Ministers, the body which will designate its president.
This new organizational structure is expected to direct, coordinate and supervise the elaboration of an annual plan for its subordinate entities; ensure the implementation of a research and development policy for medications, other value-added products and services; direct activities related to foreign sales and negotiations conducted by subordinate companies, including the supervision of the import, export and development of products and services, as well as the transfer of technology.
BioCubaFarma will additionally direct the economic and financial policy approved for the industry and resolve disagreements which may emerge in the contracting process between companies within the group.
STRUCTURAL REORGANIZATION FOR GREATER EFFICIENCY
One of the pillars which supports the progress and sustainability of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors is research and development.
Thus, for the first time, the policy approved to consolidate enterprises and form BioCubaFarma includes the concept of a high technology company defined as one which functions on the basis of a ‘complete cycle’ of research, development, production and sales. The results of scientific investigation support continuing financing of research, and a high percentage of the companies’ employees will have advanced training.
The integration of the two industries should provide benefits to both. On the one hand, the pharmaceutical sector will be able to raise its quality standards based on the experience of Scientific Complex centers involved in research, production and sales of their products; while the biotechnology industry can learn from the business experience of pharmaceutical companies.
With the creation of BioCubaFarma, a new organization has emerged which will function on the basis of enterprise principles, one of significant scientific and productive importance, on a national and international level. Moreover, Policy Guidelines No.131 and 132, approved at the 6th Party Congress, are being implemented, and in particular, No. 221, which emphasizes the need to consolidate these two industries.