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January 14th, 2010 by under Costa Rica. No Comments.


Pfizer, Inc:

Today, the class had the pleasure of visiting Pfizer, the world´s largest research based pharmaceutical company.  The Pfizer facility in Costa Rica is a warehousing, marketing, and finance hub for its Central American and Caribbean operations.  Here we met Dr. Generao Cuesta, who is the Medical Director of the operation, along with Dr. Eric Heilbron, who is a clinical research manager for Central America and the Dominican Republic.  The site visit consisted of a robust presentation regarding the operations, as well as a question and answer session.

Important information about Pfizer, Costa Rice include:

1. The first Pfizer facility in Costa Rica was constructed in 1969.  It currently is located in one of the many free trade zones in Costa Rica, where there are no import or export taxes levied on the companies within these special economic zones.  Although the company cannot sell its products in Costa Rica without taxes applied, it is a favorable environment to do business in.  The company saves substantial amounts of money on import and export taxes, while the country of Costa Rica gains many high-paying jobs for its population.

2. Costa Rica is a favorable site for pharmaceutical research, because its political system is stable, and its educated population has easy, reliable access to good medical care.  For this reason, Pfizer is conducting over 70 clinical trials in Costa Rica at the present time (far more than any other Central American or Caribbean country).

3. Pfizer is an avid proponent of corporate social responsibility in the areas it serves.  For example, each year the Costa Rican Pfizer employees build a complete health care center in impovershed ares of its territory.  Furthermore, they carry out large scale recycling and tree replanting programs that are aimed to help the environment and bolster the local rain forest.  Lastly, Pfizer donates time and money to treating the medical conditions of over 12,000 children each year who could otherwise not afford or access proper health care.


Baxter International

January 14th, 2010 by under Costa Rica. No Comments.

Baxter International

The class had an opportunity to visit Baxter International´s Costa Rican manufacturing facilities.  Baxter is a global player in the healthcare industry with the manufacturing of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology products.  We were first met by a top plant manager, Jose, who provided us with an educational video outlining Baxter International and its operations.  Then, after a question and answer session, Jose took us on a full plant tour.  The facility was exceptionally organized and followed lean practices and 6 sigma opertional guidelines for quality. 

Jose was proud to tell our class the following information:

Baxter has existed in Costa Rica since 1987 and is the country´s is the fourth largest exporter of goods.  The company employs roughly 1,200 people to manufacture its major products of intravenous administration kits, blood monitoring sets, and cancer screening kits.  Employees are paid high wages for the country and are treated exceptionally well.  The company provides a 60% food subsidy in its cafeteria and has an on site dental clinic that can be used free of charge for the employees and their families.  The plant we visited is internationally known for high standards in quality and safety, evidenced by its ISO 9001 certification and its receiving of the Shingo Award for operational excellence. 

Some additional facts about the plant include:

1. The plant´s lost time incident rate per 100 employees has decreased from 0.63 incidents in 2000 to just 0.06 incidents in 2006.  This is a strong indicator of increased safety measures being successfully carried out at the plant. 

2. The facility has also reduced its lost time days per 100 employees from 3.85 in 2000 to 0.6 in 2006.  

3. The manufacturing facility is carbon neutral, using high efficiency machinery and fixtures while purchasing carbon offsets to reduce its burden on the environment.

4. The facility exports $190 million of products worldwide, with 90 percent of the goods going directly to the United States.