CSC: Why an American went to Cuba for cancer care

Cuba has faced more than 50 years of US sanctions. Now, for the first time, a unique drug is being tested in New York state. But some American cancer patients are already taking it – by defying the blockade and flying to Havana for treatment.

CimaVax is a product of Cuba’s biotechnology industry, nurtured by former President Fidel Castro since the early 1980s. Now the industry employs around 22,000 scientists, technicians and engineers, and sells drugs in many parts of the world – but not in the US.

An excellent report by Linda Pressly for the BBC’s Crossing Continents explores Cuba’s bio-tech industry. How has this small Caribbean nation been able to develop world-class drugs with its limited resources?

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