Puerto Rico had to rebuild itself – in many cases quite literally – after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria in 2017. However, despite the havoc that Maria brought to the island’s telecommunications, energy and water supply, the jewel in Puerto Rico’s crown – its pharmaceutical industry – remained largely unaffected. Indeed, in 2020 Puerto Rico and its world-leading pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities can feasibly claim to have learned the lessons of 2017 and be in a stronger position than ever before.
Puerto Rico has a stronger healthcare manufacturing footprint than any other US jurisdiction or State, with 50 pharma and 30 medical device sites dotted throughout the island. This footprint represents around 30 percent of Puerto Rico’s GDP and two of its major exports. Several multinational firms are doubling down on their commitment to manufacturing on Puerto Rico and an increasing number of small and medium-sized companies from Europe, Asia and Latin America are choosing to situate manufacturing sites there.
This report looks at the rationale behind these commitments, how Puerto Rico is innovating within pharmaceutical manufacturing, and the government-led incentives to ensure that this upward trend continues. Other topics covered include the abundance of talented and well-trained Puerto Ricans emerging every year from the island’s universities, the increasing numbers of clinical trials taking place there, the attractiveness of the domestic pharma market, and the challenges inherent to the Puerto Rican healthcare system.