FRANCISCO CANTÚ
Director General of Fármacos Proasse
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View from the Top

Attention, Client Service Make a Difference

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 13:48

Q: How do you expect the traditional pharmacy model to change as a result of technology and digitalization?
A: Technology will play a fundamental role because it will help bring us closer to potential clients. We believe the implementation of apps will be key, by helping us to anticipate product demand more easily. This will help us to adapt and provide better service, improving client satisfaction. Patients with chronic-degenerative diseases, diabetes or hypertension, in particular, could see a healthy benefit because their medication does not change over time.
We can easily use technology that is already available and adapt it so it becomes a useful tool for both the patient and us. An example could be an app that consistently reminds patients when to take their medications. Through these reminders, patients would feed information into the app, letting us know how advanced they are in their treatment. At the same time, we would be able to contact patients and let them know when their prescription needs refilling. They could then program the delivery of the medicine.
The information generated from the app could have several uses, not only for us but also for insurance companies, which would greatly benefit from real-time information on patient behavior. For instance, a diabetic patient needs to follow a rigorous and continuous treatment. It is in the insurance company’s interest to help patients follow their treatment correctly, given that this lowers risks and potential costs. We could generate interesting synergies with insurance companies by finding elements that could motivate patients to follow their treatment correctly.
Q: With which insurers does Fármacos Proasse work and what are your expectations regarding these alliances?
A: Our company is focused on providing services to insurance companies. It is a market niche in which we have always been, with these companies representing about 60 percent of our clients. The other 40 percent is made up of hospitals. These two niches are important for us and we have generated alliances in both segments. In 2018 and 2019, we consolidated alliances with some of the most important insurance companies in Mexico and we expect to keep growing alongside these players over the next years. Our main competitive advantage is that we are a company that is close to its clients and is always catering to their needs. We offer a differentiated service and provide a faster response to any request. In addition, our approach with clients is more direct.
Q: How viable is it to have medicines with THC components in the Mexican market and will specialized pharmacies become the sales points for these medications?
A: We would have to analyze it just like any other medication. As with many other commercialized products, the main problem is the dependence that it might generate and its long-term effects. A well-regulated and supervised market could be the ideal option for the commercialization of a product that is important and helpful for certain illnesses, such as epilepsy. These medications can have a positive impact but the market needs to be structured correctly.
Although specialized pharmacies could be points of sale, I believe these products should be commercialized as hospital products to ensure controlled distribution. However, this decision should come after a detailed analysis of the risks the product might entail. Like any other medicine, these products would need to be manufactured by a laboratory, guaranteeing that they comply with protocols and regulations.  
Q:  What are Fármacos Proasse’s goals for 2019 and 2020?
A: We want to continue growing as a company. Besides Monterrey, we already have a pharmacy for local service in Guadalajara and are expecting to open another one in Mexico City. We are analyzing the possibility of venturing into cities such as Mexicali, Hermosillo, Chihuahua, Merida or Torreon. However, before expanding anywhere, we need to consolidate our position in Guadalajara and Mexico City.