Biopharmaceutical industry in Argentina in the 21st century

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In the dynamic landscape of Latin America's pharmaceutical industry, Argentina stands out with its distinctive structure and policies that have shaped its biopharmaceutical sector. Over the course of this century, the biopharmaceutical industry in Argentina has emerged as a critical player in the country's healthcare sector. 

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This article explores the interplay of public policies, funding initiatives, and collaboration efforts that have propelled Argentina's biopharmaceutical sector forward.

In Argentina, the structure of the pharmaceutical industry is different compared to other countries in Latin America. Here, national laboratories hold a market share of fifty per cent. This is a result of Argentine industrial policies prior to the 1980s, tariffs, and a lack of understanding of the international patent protection system. Consequently, Argentine laboratories specialized in the production of copies and generic medications [1].

Despite the reforms driven in the 1990s, the Argentine pharmaceutical market consolidated with the predominance of the largest national laboratories.

Furthermore, the healthcare system in Argentina is fragmented and decentralized, with the Ministry of Health of the nation as the highest authority, but with provincial autonomy in the provision of services and policy planning. The system is divided into three subsystems, with the social security system being the most significant in terms of resources, followed by the public sector and the private sector.

Regarding the biopharmaceutical sector, partnerships have been established between domestic and foreign laboratories for the production and export of biological medicines. Despite the trade deficit, the capacity to produce biosimilars has been successfully developed.

In terms of public policies for the growth of the biopharmaceutical industry, several laws and funding initiatives stand out to promote and support research and technological development. Additionally, there is an increase in tariffs on selected biosimilar imports. These policies provide subsidies, tax credits, and preferential credits while encouraging collaboration with universities and research centres, as well as purchases by the public sector [1].

Argentina has a significant pharmaceutical sector, being the third-largest market in Latin America after Brazil and Mexico [2]. Argentina and Brazil have different approaches to their bio-pharmaceutical industry, with Argentina showing an initial advantage in the involvement of national laboratories. Both countries have sought to promote collaboration between the public and private sectors to strengthen the industry and face challenges and opportunities for its development in the Latin American context.

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Quality standards for biopharmaceuticals: the importance of good manufacturing practice

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1. Amoretti L. La industria biofarmacéutica de Argentina y Brasil en el siglo XXI. Ciencia, tecnología y política. 2023;6(10):097.
2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Pharmaceutical companies in Argentina []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2023 Oct 31]. Available from:

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