The Business Year

Javier Prada

COLOMBIA - Health & Education

Javier Prada

General Manager, Grünenthal Colombia

Bio

Javier Prada is an industrial engineer from the Universidad Javeriana and has a master’s in marketing from EAFIT. He has more than 33 years of professional experience and has worked in the pharmaceutical industry 27 years.

Grünenthal Colombia seeks to tackle chronic pain using cutting-edge products.

Three out of 10 Latin Americans suffer from chronic pain. What is Grünenthal doing to expand access to solutions and promote education?

Grünenthal is a leading pharmaceutical company focused on pain therapies with 75 years of experience in developing, manufacturing, and commercializing innovative products. We direct our efforts toward our vision of a world free of pain. This vision is a driving force for our employees. Chronic pain is a major source of suffering and a disease in itself, according to the ICD-11, the WHO’s International Classification of Diseases. Nevertheless, the WHO states that pain is a highly underestimated public health problem and there is a very important knowledge gap, since it is generally perceived as a symptom and not as a disease that has a very high impact. Therefore, the approach must include timely diagnosis, correct and comprehensive treatment with a personalized approach, and a follow-up to ensure the patient’s recovery. As a science-based pharmaceutical company, we are committed to transforming the future of pain management. We have a long track record of bringing innovative treatments and state-of-the-art technologies to people living with pain. Our R&D efforts aim to further strengthen our disease area leadership in pain by developing new, highly innovative pain therapies for patients in need. At Grünenthal, we work from a multi-disciplinary perspective to improve the way pain is treated. This includes the availability of our innovative therapies so that patients in Colombia have the possibility to access our products, the articulation of multi-stakeholder initiatives to improve the understanding and improve knowledge of this disease, and training for doctors. Medical education is a cornerstone of what we do. In Colombia, there is a great deal of opportunity in the diagnosis and treatment of pain. We have educational programs such as Change Pain, which includes a program of continuing medical education (CME) to help physicians better understand patient needs and development. We currently have nine agreements with well-known universities, such as Universidad de la Sabana and Fundación Universitaria Ciencias de la Salud (FUCS).

What has been Grünenthal’s experience in Colombia, and where does Colombia fit within the company’s global business strategy?

Grünenthal has a strong track record in Latin America of more than 50 years, arriving first to Peru in 1968. Latin America plays a very important role in the company’s global growth expectations and Colombia is a key market to achieve this. We have been operating in the country for 46 years and we have commercial operations throughout the country. All of our promoted and commercialized pain portfolio in Europe is also available in Colombia. It is part of our commitment to ensure access to all technologies worldwide. Recently, an extremely innovative product was submitted to regulatory authorities and we are waiting for its approval, which would benefit more patients in the mid and long term. Throughout the years, we have also established commercial partnerships with international companies that want to successfully launch projects in the Colombian market successfully. As an innovation-driven company we have in Colombia a solid portfolio of differentiated brands in pain treatment and other therapeutic areas that add value to physicians and patients.

How does Grünenthal stay at the forefront of pain science, and what is the strategy to diversify and expand?

We are a global leader in pain research and management, having developed six important treatment options for pain patients. We know that patients are still hugely underserved in this therapeutic area. That is why we are determined to develop the next generation of pain medicines. Our R&D activities focus on four strategic indications that are characterized by a huge unmet medical need in large patient populations: peripheral neuropathic pain, chronic postoperative pain, chronic low back pain, and osteoarthritis. We strive to make a positive impact on patients’ lives through our own research, as well as by drawing on external innovation, collaboration, and networks. We are committed to establishing strategic alliances with leading institutions and scientists to further shape the field of pain research. The opening of our innovation center in Boston marks an important milestone in bringing us closer to the global research community.

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