Cuba bets on investments in science and innovation

Edited by Catherin López
2023-02-01 18:33:26


Ileana Morales and Rolando Pérez


Havana, Feb 1 (RHC) Executives of the health sector said Cuba is betting today on investments in science, technology, and innovation within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry because it is a driving force for development.


The directors of Science and Innovation of the Ministry of Public Health, Ileana Morales, and of the Biocubafarma Business Group, Rolando Pérez, respectively, explained the island's efforts in scientific research and the reasons why government authorities prioritize this activity.


In his speech, Perez said that the current investment is aimed at incorporating and developing products and technologies with greater diagnostic and therapeutic effects that will allow the national health system to reach the indicators and standards that exist worldwide, with the difference that in Cuba there is the political will for those results to reach the entire population equally, Perez stressed.


In addition, he added and clarified that these investments in research and development amount to just 10 percent of the industry's operating expenses to meet the demands for products and services required by the health system.


In no way is investment power the reason for the scarce coverage of medicines and technologies, the causes of which lie in the country's financial limitations, aggravated by the U.S. economic blockade, Pérez said.


However, the island has the technological capacity and human capital to meet the demand of the national health system, so the financial problem will be solved without jeopardizing the future of the medical-pharmaceutical industry, he added.


By 2030, Cuba should produce 80 percent of the products in the basic list of medicines and 40 million units of drugs of natural origin, in addition to introducing new products for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune and neurogenerative diseases, many of them in different stages of clinical trials.


Among the perspectives, they also mentioned the development of new vaccines such as the anti-pneumococcal vaccine, which has already concluded clinical trials, and in the medium term another against the human papillomavirus, as well as one against dengue, between the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine and the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.


Other scientific challenges for 2023 for the national health system include strengthening the network of 27 molecular biology laboratories, improving the integrated management of health services, and introducing digital health in primary care and intensive care wards. (Source: PL)


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