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.