Who wears sunscreen in the fall? Hint: the Irish

Today we were able to visit the pharmaceutical company Andromaco. We walked through the facility and were able to see the production from beginning to end of the products they manufacture, which are mostly creams.

In speaking with the representative of the company, I was able to get a much more clear image of the creation of pharmaceuticals. It is exceptionally hard to run a pharmaceutical laboratory; however, in a sense, this is good because it ensures the safety of the drugs that are distributed to thousands if not millions of people. One such example is that in Argentina, a pharmaceutical laboratory like Andromaco must endure a two-week long audit every other year. They mentioned how strict the audit was so any mistake could potentially be devastating to the company.

Other challenges were not from ensuring the quality of the product but rather outside factors. The products that Andromaco make are created from materials of which the raw version cannot be found or produced in Argentina. This means that they must import all of their raw materials from places such as India, the U.S., Japan, and other countries. As you can imagine, this gets quite expensive. On the opposite end, most of their products, specifically 90% stay domestic because the standards for pharmaceutical products, set by the Ministry of Health, are lower than those of international regulation groups, such as the FDA. This means that exporting can become extremely difficult so Andromaco has chosen to not export the majority of the products.

Some other problems they face come from their own marketing scheme. 30% of their products go towards making samples that are distributed for free. This has pros and cons because they get their product out into the country so people can see it, test it, then will want to purchase it. However, they lose money in producing so much product that receives no direct compensation so in the end they only have an approximately 10% net profit for the entire company.

The trip overall was extremely educational and honestly just wicked cool to be able to get such an up close view of a process that normally takes place behind closed doors. Also, a huge shout out to Andromaco for the free sunscreen. On behalf of a very pale Irish gal heading back to summer in the U.S. in just a week and a half, my skin thanks you.

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