Day 4: Phun with Pharmaceuticals

Today we went on a site visit to Andromaco, a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant located in Buenos Aires. The company focuses mainly on the production of topical creams, along with other products. The visit consisted of a tour of the facility, along with a question and answer session with a pharmacist that works for the plant. I really enjoyed the visit as a contrast from the typical site visits in the business school at Pitt. It was fascinating to watch each step that is involved in the production of creams from raw materials to finished goods. Seeing this process in action helped me apply the supply chain knowledge I have gained from my classes at Pitt. After the tour, we went to lunch at the nearby neighborhood of San Telmo. It was wonderful enjoying a hearty meal with my friends and exploring a different part of the city. We then concluded the day with a walking tour of a memorial dedicated to human rights. The memorials were very emotional and showed the painful side of the country’s past.

Andromaco is the pharmaceutical manufacturing plant that we visited today in Buenos Aires. While the company has been successful overall, there are many challenges they face on a regular basis. The sensitive nature of the medical industry requires regulation from the government. Every two years, Andromaco undergoes an audit from the Argentine government that lasts approximately two weeks. During this time, the daily operations of the firm are interrupted, as everything they do is being followed and questioned. Another problem that the firm faces is the predicting of demand. The use of static modeling has helped with this issue, but stock outs and overflow can occur, costing the firm valuable resources.

Due to inflation, the pricing of the products they produce needs to be updated constantly. With this lack of stability, it is often difficult to predict future revenues and profits for making long term decisions. This is a common problem faced by many companies in Argentina. They are forced to think in the short term rather than being able to make long term, strategic decisions.

Additionally, the difference in standards between the Argentine government and the rest of the world often limits where the pharmaceutical products can be exported to. The Argentine standards are more relaxed than most other parts of the world which limits the potential consumer base of companies like Andromaco.

Seeing more of the healthcare supply chains showed me another side of the business world. I am looking forward to visiting the community-based healthcare centers tomorrow and enjoying the autumn weather!

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