Arístides Salazar
General Manager of Mexico, Central America & the Caribbean
Region for Emcure Pharmaceuticals
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Allience Create a Path to Growth

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 14:25

Generic medicines are on the way up in Mexico, forcing changes on Big Pharma that are reshaping the market, says Arístides Salazar, General Manager of Mexico, Central America & the Caribbean Region for Emcure Pharmaceuticals, a company that works in R&D and manufactures for leading companies such as Roche.

“The golden years of Big Pharma are over and the entrance of generics has changed the game,” Salazar says, adding that “the future of the industry besides genomic medicine is in biosimilar drugs and generics.”

According to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Life Sciences Outlook, generics were expected to reach 36 percent of health spending by 2017. “In Mexico, around 80 percent of medicines in terms of units are generics,” says Salazar, which he attributes to the high volume purchased by the public sector in tenders and due to their low-price points. “The problem with Big Pharma companies is that the process of decision-making does not take place locally, which means decisions must be taken at higher levels of the corporate ladder, thus delaying negotiations. Emcure’s ideal is to have a flexible business without ruling big companies out.” Its flexible approach allows the company, which manufactures chiral molecules, generics, biosimilars and novel drug- delivery systems, to adapt to the markets it enters. “The top priority is to consolidate the Mexican subsidiary by taking advantage of the opportunities we have here,” he says.

The company has no manufacturing plant in Mexico. With no FTA between Mexico and India, it is licensing out the production of its medicines to other companies. “There are several companies with unused capacity that are looking to manufacture for other companies,” Salazar says. Emcure considers entering alliances with those companies, although it may invest in building or acquiring a manufacturing plant once it has reached sufficient critical mass in sales. “Then, we could harness distribution to the US and the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean,” he adds.

Emcure aims to introduce revolutionary products to the Mexican market, to start taking part in public tenders and

to sell its products locally under its own brand name. “If we can support Mexican health with accessible and high- quality products, we must do it,” says Salazar.

Alliances are key to the company’s market penetration in Mexico because they allow the company to insert its products into the portfolios of its partners. For example, Emcure has licensed out its gastrointestinal product Gamo (Levopantoprazol) to Sanfer, one of the largest Mexican generics players. “Our company has at least four other partnerships under development,” said Salazar.

In Mexico, the most important segments for Emcure are gastrointestinal and cardiovascular. However, it works a series of therapeutic sectors at the global level with distinct production lines focused on each target country’s needs. Emcure’s global portfolio includes HIV, oncology, biosimilar drugs, diabetes, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and painkillers, among other areas. “Diversification enables Emcure to adapt to the needs of the market and customers and to the portfolios of our partners,” Salazar says.

The company looks forward to eventually participating in the diabetes segment with an integral portfolio of related products, as therapeutics for diabetics mkae up one of the biggest sectors in the global pharmaceutical market, especially in Mexico. Its portfolio includes modified molecules and innovative combinations that reduce cholesterol levels and thus the chance of cardiovascular arrest in diabetic patients. Emcure expects to start selling its products under the Emcure brand in three to four years. Building a manufacturing plant is a possibility in five to 10 years but its short-term priority is to consolidate partnerships and to start the registration process for its products.