Following the creation of state sugar enterprise Azcuba, the Cuban
government is setting up a similarly-styled holding company that will be
in charge of the pharmaceutical industry.
In a side note to the official announcement of a cabinet reshuffle, the
Cuban Council of State said the government is in the process of creating
a state holding company that will be in charge of research, development,
production, marketing and distribution of medical drugs. The company
will report directly to the Council of Ministers.
Previously, pharmaceutical companies reported to the Ministry of Basic
Industries (MINBAS), which continues to oversee energy and mining.
Cuba's pharmaceutical industry, which generated more than $200 million
in exports last year and keeps growing fast, has been organized around
several research institutions clustered at the "Scientific Hub" in
western Havana, such the Center for Genetic and Biological Engineering
(CIGB) and the Center of Molecular Immunology (CIM), and state companies
such as Grupo Empresarial Labiofam.
The Council of State appointed revolutionary veteran José M. Miyar
Barrueco, 79, to head the new pharmaceutical holding company. Miyar was
involved in the creation of the Scientific Hub since the 1980s, and was
most recently minister of science.
Miyar was replaced by Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya as minister of science,
technology and environment. Pérez Montoya was head of the Communist
Party's science department.