Member Spotlight: Philippe Fournet-Fayard
The newly established ISPE Affiliate in Mexico is led by a group of 14 professionals, with Jaime Castro as President, Enrique Vargas as Commissions Director and Philippe Fournet-Fayard as VP for Administration. A native of France, Philippe relocated to Mexico 23 years ago he joined ISPE in 1995, close to when he moved there. We asked Philippe what made him participate to the creation of an ISPE Affiliate in Mexico and to talk about the Mexico Affiliate and the state of the industry in Mexico.
Congratulations on starting the ISPE Mexico Affiliate! What made you join the efforts to establish an ISPE Affiliate in Mexico and what was the process like?
Since I moved to Mexico, I have been aware of a couple of previous intentions to establish an Affiliate. All failed. But last year, when Enrique Vargas proposed to me to participate in this new project initiated by Jaime Castro, I immediately said yes and decided to take an active role. The pharma industry in Mexico is strong and has reached an internationally recognized level, so it makes sense to have a local ISPE Chapter and participate actively in ISPE. Talking about the Affiliate itself and the work to be done, it honestly took much more time than we thought at the beginning. But we were able to motivate a group of 14 professionals, who helped a lot to get things done: increase memberships, define business plan, establish the bylaws of the society, prepare technical committees, etc. It has been a very interesting process, and the help and support of ISPE staff has been critical. So many thanks to John Bournas and Tracey Ryan; they believed in and pushed the process since the early beginning.
Can you tell us a little about the ISPE Mexico Affiliate?
Our participation in the 2019 ISPE Annual Meeting & Expo in Las Vegas made us realize and connect with the different programs ISPE promotes. All of them are interesting and present great opportunities for us to bring new perspectives to the Mexican market. We especially are considering Women in Pharma and Student Chapters as core, to begin with. It is important to note that, in order to acknowledge the importance of the industry in the Guadalajara area, the Affiliate will start with a branch in this region.
The founders of the Affiliate are all long-term, experienced, and recognized professionals, and all of them are also involved in other professional associations in the country. One of the goals of the Affiliate is to become a link between these organizations. The last aspect I want to point out is that our geographical proximity to the US should allow us to participate actively in ISPE International. Many things to do!
What is the pharmaceutical industry like in Mexico? We’re interested in hearing how it is progressing and where you see it going.
The pharma industry in Mexico is very active, with almost all big pharma companies producing here, and a very strong national industry. The market itself has needs that create a huge growth potential for the long term. Recently Mexico's Ministry of Health (the regulatory authority COFEPRIS) was accepted for PIC/S membership, which shows the robustness of its processes. In terms of manufacturing infrastructure as well any Mexican factory, all are in line with all international standards. Most companies export to LATAM, some to the US and Europe. This industry is now the 7th economical sector of the GDP, with 95,000 direct jobs. R&D is in a very fast-growing phase. The drug market has grown at a rate of 63% in value in the last 10 years. More and more people have access to reliable treatments, both brand names and generics.
You’ve been an ISPE Member since 1995! Can you share some of your experiences with us? Successes you’ve experienced as an ISPE Member?
I have always been interested in ISPE and the quality of its publications and technical sharing documents and events. Nevertheless, I had never decided before to participate actively in any local chapter in the countries I have lived in France and Spain, before Mexico, if there was at that time a local chapter.
You are originally from France! When did you make Mexico your home? Can you tell us about transitioning from one culture to another?
I was born in the Champagne area, in the northeast of France. But I was attracted by the Latin culture from very early in my career. After several years working in the Paris area for a leading cleanroom construction company I had the opportunity to launch a branch office in Barcelona. It was logical for me at that time to search for a new opportunity in Latin America after finishing the Barcelona period. Mexico was the country where I found my next job. I went there with a three-year expat contract. That was 23 years ago. I think I can say I found my place on earth. I have also made a wonderful family here, with three children (15 boy, 13 girl and 11 boy). Mexico and its people are extremely welcoming and inclusive in diverse cultures, especially when you make the effort to go in and learn. Nothing is better, nothing is worse; many things are just different.
We understand you love to travel! I’m sure you return to France when you can – where in France do you go, and where else in the world are your favorite places to visit?
We make a family trip every year to France. My children have both citizenships, but more important they do have double culture. And it is for all of us important to stay in touch with our French roots, and our family there. Every journey there is the opportunity to visit a new region. Bretagne and Camargue are probably our favorite destinations. But we also take time to visit places in Europe. I have to say also that my kids are fans of US Natural Parks; Yosemite, Petrified Forest and Grand Canyon have been wonderful journeys.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Our Affiliate wants to be somewhat of a link between ISPE International and LATAM. We are geographically close to the US, and culturally close to LATAM, and we share the same language. I do hope the new Mexico Affiliate will provide the opportunity to create mutual respect and understanding between the industries of our two countries.