Exploring the Dynamic Out-Licensing LATAM Market and Why Simone Pasquini Wants to Be Part of It

Half of a two-person team that does business development for the whole of Latin America, Simone Pasquini spearheads Medis' business activities in a highly competitive and growing out-licensing region. See what makes Brazil and LATAM so unique and why Simone feels proud every day.

My career spans a quarter of a century in business development. During my bachelor's degree in business administration, I started as an intern in a Swedish company that produced specialty chemicals in Brazil. I then did a post graduate degree in international commerce, and later an MBA in international marketing at FGV (Fundação Getúlio Vargas).

In 2005, I joined the pharma world specializing in in-licensing. I was focused on bringing in new products – both innovative drugs and generics — to complement the existing portfolio of the company I was working for. First this was for the Brazilian market, and then later I moved to Italy to concentrate my efforts on the European generics market, which is where I first met Medis, as a customer!

Because I come from the in-licensing world, I can understand what the customer is thinking about and how they evaluate our proposals. In 2015, I joined Medis and it was a really interesting switch from in-licensing to out-licensing. We have many types of clients, both local and multinational companies. It's a growing region with a lot of competition and much room to grow.

We have a great deal of regulatory diversity in LATAM, it's very different to Europe. In this industry, Europe is seen as a region. Although there are obviously different languages and cultures, from a regulatory perspective everything is more or less aligned. In LATAM, however, each country has different regulatory rules, it’s a very different market, with Brazil representing more than 50% of the Latin American pharmaceutical market. And of course, we also have myriad languages and cultures! It helps that I speak Portuguese, English, Spanish, and a bit of Italian too!

LATAM is an exciting market with a lot of opportunity to grow. The in-licensing/out-licensing world is just starting here, and I think that's due to a strong cultural factor. We have big strong generic local players here and they want to do everything in-house. That might be almost impossible, but it's the mindset! Step by step, we're trying to show them that in-licensing can contribute to their portfolio renewal. They can do local R&D and manufacturing of many products, and in parallel, in-license others from Medis to build a bigger portfolio in a short period of time. I try to show the customers the power it can have, that they can rely on us to help them grow with our high-standard dossiers and high-quality products.

I hope to see Medis as the strongest out-licensing partner of generic medicines in LATAM — our growth in the region already shows that we’re headed in the right direction.

People told me that I am Medis and Medis is me. What a nice thing to hear! When I came back to Medis after two years elsewhere, I kept hearing this. It's so satisfying to work in a company where I have such a strong connection to the business and the people.

I'm so proud to work in the generics world, to be able to increase people's access to medicine. Here in Brazil, we do have a strong public health system, but we also have out of pocket expenses for medicines, so I think it’s really important to make medicine more affordable and more available to the patient.

To be successful in a role like this, you must be objective and dynamic, as well as have negotiation and strategic thinking skills. So much is going on at the same time, with many different countries and clients, so I have to be really organized and able to compartmentalize, otherwise I'd get lost. I also think it's crucial to build strong and close relationships with customers and with the internal teams that support customer needs is crucial.

Focusing on relationships is a strong point of mine in my personal life, as well as in business. My favorite thing to do is to spend time with my baby, my family, and friends. I like having lots of people around me.

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