Country Report: Mexico - Pharmaceutical Executive


Country Report: Mexico
Shaking Up the System

Pharmaceutical Executive

Tomas Bordonaba, General Manager, Grünenthal Mexico
Tomas Bordonaba, general manager of Grünenthal de Mexico notes that, "The institutional market represents a big opportunity for Grünenthal, but it has additional complexity because every state manages its own budget and has its own priorities. You have to create an individual strategy for every state." He also goes on to say that, "In general, the awareness of the importance of correct pain management strategies is growing across the different institutions, and Grünenthal is playing a key role."

Awareness within government institutions and the need to treat certain conditions has become a priority within the pharmaceutical industry. Since public health institutions have increased their coverage of the population, the sales ratio between the government and the private market for the pharmaceutical industry as a whole has shifted in favor of the government. Awareness is the key that unlocks the door to new business opportunities, otherwise known as market access. This has been surprisingly rosy in recent times as Aurelio Martinez, general manager for Cegedim Mexico, CA & Caribbean can qualify when it comes to orphan drugs.

"When the government started getting involved because of the high cost of treatments and the growth of social services, they also started listening more closely to the industry," he says. "That is the reason why market access has gained such importance for pharmaceutical companies in Mexico."

On February 29th 2012, the government published a change in the general health law to recognize the presence of both orphan diseases and the drugs available to treat them. In essence, the Ministry of Health is now required to support the diagnosis and treatment of orphan diseases.

For Markus Krenzlin, country manager of Shire Mexico, the change has been fantastic news.

"Mexico has a great attitude towards orphan drugs," he said. "The Mexican authorities are very conscious of the various niche problems that exist for patients across the country and have been very open in making orphan drugs available to them. This Mexican public sector consciousness is the reason why we have been able to provide patients with new treatments."

Despite a universal health coverage coming forward in leaps and bounds, figures show that coverage is still limited in some areas. Current out-of-pocket spending accounts for more than 50% of total healthcare costs, and 85% of pharmaceutical expenditure. This is more than substantial enough to fuel a large retail sector. But Mexico's age pyramid is becoming more similar to that of a mature market each day, and for the most part this means rising healthcare costs for the government as more Mexicans turn to the state for support. Medical education is contributing towards a more effective culture of diagnosis, and chronic disease demographic is on the increase. All of which will require the Mexican government to be very well equipped with the right skills, decision makers and foresight to cope with these mammoth changes.


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