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Carlos Martins

PANAMA - Health & Education

The Art of Anticipation

General Manager, Roche Diagnostics Central America & the Caribbean


Carlos Martins has been Roche Diagnostics’ General Manager for Central America and the Caribbean since 2018. He is also a member of the LATAM leadership team. During his 14-year career with the company, he has held a variety of leadership roles in different countries within the diagnostics division. He first joined Roche Diagnostics in 2006 as a business unit manager for Centralized Diagnostics in Portugal. He has also held various roles for DuPont Pharma, Siemens, and Johnson & Johnson. He holds a bachelor’s in marketing and an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Roche has grown to be the largest biotechnology company in the world by investing nearly 20% of revenues back into R&D.

With more than 66 years in the region, how have you managed to stand out as a leader?

We have a mission statement: We do now what patients need next. It has been our mission statement for more than 10 years. Innovation is at the core of everything we do, thanks to our employees. That is why, being based in Switzerland, Roche is the biggest biotechnology company in the world. We invest close to 20% of our revenues in R&D, with a focus on personalized care.

What role does Panama play in your portfolio?

We provide services to more than 25 countries and operate directly in 11. This is an important challenge because of the diverse geography. Managing these 25 countries out of Panama increases the complexity of the business and means we need to stay abreast of every regulation, government, and policy because they differ from country to country. Each conforms to a different structure to which we need to adapt.

How is your regional presence aligned with your expansion strategy in Latin America?

We have sustainable growth across all Latin American countries. On average, we have been duplicating the growth of the market in almost all Latin American countries, Central America, and the Caribbean. The market grew 4.5%, and we grew 8%. This is great because the innovation pipeline we receive from global headquarters is definitely the right products and solutions to fill the gaps in our countries and affiliates. We operate directly for Central America and the Caribbean out of Panama. There are currently approximately 100 jobs in Panama City and a total of 250 in the entire affiliate.

How have you increased the value of your products to attract more clients and partners?

Less than 60% of the Central American and Caribbean population has access to healthcare. Our biggest mission is to make sure we increase the reach of the remaining population, so the objective is to continue being the leader in healthcare, specifically in our diagnostics business, as well as pharmaceuticals. To achieve this, we have three pillars. First, with digital transformation, we are launching a portfolio of IT software solutions. We use all the generated data to produce insights as epidemic, operations, production, or diagnostic testing data. Second, we offer the most integrated solutions in the market. Third, we provide education to our doctors and have our own doctors in-house.

How would you describe your social commitment when it comes to the Accu-check for Aventis?

We have a few products for professionals, but also have huge portfolio of solutions that are more directly related to patients. Accu-check is one of them. We are fully committed to supporting diabetes patients in Panama. Since the end of 2017, we have established 11 centers within Roche pharmacies to provide support to patients with diabetes. In those centers, patients receive counseling in nutrition from qualified nutritionists and education on managing their disease. They can also receive technical services to advise them on how to better manage their blood glucose levels. This program has been successful, as we have reached over 6,000 patients, and the service continues to grow in Panama.



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