The effects of the global coronavirus pandemic have reached Argentina. Most drugmakers are cancelling congresses, conventions and international meetings.
The staff of US drugmaker Biogen‘s Argentina office are working from home in quarantine after several company executives tested positive for COVID-19.
US media reports cite three leaders testing positive in the US after attending Biogen’s international meeting in Boston. Meanwhile in Argentina, general director for Latam South «Maxi» Gutiérrez, who also attended the event, has been hospitalized in Buenos Aires and all staff at the company have been told to work from home until further notice.
The company most affected so far is Biogen, whose local branch is in quarantine after general director «Maxi» Gutiérrez was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. The executive had taken part in an international meeting in Massachusetts, USA, which became the epicenter of an outbreak.
The majority of drugmakers in Argentina have cancelled congresses and conventions, and are limiting the visits of medical sales reps to health centers. The Argentine national government has grounded all regular flights to and from affected areas, including the US and all of Europe, and banned events attended by more than 200 people in efforts to stop the illness taking hold in the country.
Among the other drugmakers, BMS has cancelled its regional sales convention scheduled for this week in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Britain’s GSK has cancelled a regional meeting in Panama as it puts a hold on all international travel and a freeze on visits from sales reps to both public and private health centers.
MSD has haltered all cross-border travel until April, and the American Association for Cancer Research meeting scheduled for April 24 – 29 in San Diego has been cancelled. France’s Sanofi has halted all non-essential cross-border travel.
Several drugmakers have suspended all sales rep visits to public and private health centers and many have their staff working from home and are permitting the purchase of alcohol gel on corporate cards.
Janssen has aleady gone further and called off meetings within Argentina itself, while Abbvie is limiting local meetings to more than 50 people.
Among local drugmakers, Roemmers has halted all international travel and has cancelled its convention scheduled for the end of the month and all sales rep visits. Bagó held its convention in Mar del Plata this week, but has now cancelled all foreign travel and internal team meetings.