Carolina Alarco: Think Globally, Act Locally

By Karla Amador

Vancouver, CA — When it comes to breaking into a global market for orphan drugs, Carolina Alarco’s go-to market approach is driven by a passion to help patients around the world who suffer from rare diseases. Carolina Alarco, President of Global Marketing and International Markets at Novelion Therapeutics, establishes new markets around the world to treat diseases, such as generalized lipodystrophy and homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.

When asked how she breaks into global biopharmaceutical markets, Carolina reveals that her go-to market approach is versatile and varied: “No one size fits all; each country has unique characteristics, culture, challenges, laws, regulations, and opportunities. Each market requires a tailored approach to commercialization. My goal, when approaching a new market, is to think globally, but act locally—according to the local culture and the needs of the patients.”

Alarco’s team is compassionate and committed. As a team leader, Alarco believes that an effective leader must have the ability to align people with a core, multi-dimensional strategy, with compassion and a results-driven work ethic. “Establish clear goals around the fundamental purpose of helping patients, and just go for it without fear of failure,” Alarco states. “Every company should aim to bring their innovative therapies to all patients around the world, regardless of where they live or what their life circumstances are.”

Alarco shares another factor in her leadership strategy, “Emotional intelligence is key to understanding the experiences of team-members and health care professionals, and the complex journey patients with rare diseases have to go through.”

Involvement in philanthropic endeavors is not new to Alarco, who is a founding member and past-chair of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Latino Council, known for its “Milagros para Niños” initiative.  Alarco is also planning to launch a new initiative called “Latinos in Bio,” with the support of MassBio.

In line with Alarco’s commitment to servant leadership is her recent appointment by Massachusetts Governor, Charlie Baker, to the Massachusetts S.T.E.M Advisory Council. Eager to help expand access to STEM education to students in the Commonwealth, Alarco plans to increase opportunities for young professionals to successfully enter the workforce. “I’m deeply honored and humbled that Governor Baker has provided me with this incredible opportunity. As one of the few Latinas who has worked in the Biotech field for many years, I’m excited to further promote equal access to opportunities in S.T.E.M. for women and minorities.”