Jesús Arenas Wiedfeldt
Corporate Communication Director
Farmacéuticos Maypo
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View from the Top

Commercial Fair Play: The Foundation of Multinational Success

By Miriam Bello | Tue, 09/14/2021 - 11:25

Q: How did Maypo position itself as one of the most relevant medicine distributors in Mexico?

A: We have a privileged position as one of the most important pharmaceutical companies in Mexico, which we used to expand our capabilities within the pharmaceutical value chain. We have operated for 28 years as a commercialization and distribution company that offers last-mile solutions for Mexico’s private and public healthcare institutions.

Over the past three years, the company has grown significantly as a result of a series of internal policies and actions that were taken in consideration of the market’s feedback. At Maypo, we have understood the needs of the pharmaceutical market and of Mexican patients and physicians.

We keep a close relationship with our stakeholders to offer them tailored solutions. For instance, patients and doctors want their medicines to be readily available at care facilities, while the pharmaceutical industry also wants its products to be available to them. Society asks for fair access and medicine prices and we have to help our clients achieve this goal.

To fulfil all our responsibilities, we have relied on technology and direct contact with our clients and commercial partners to provide a sustainable offering throughout our entire value chain. As a result, Maypo has a corporate responsibility with the environment, society, our shareholders, employees and partners.

Q: How can the pharmaceutical value chain help increase access to healthcare while running a successful business model?

A: To succeed in the current healthcare environment, all companies must reinvent themselves. Article 4 of the Mexican Constitution ensures the right to healthcare. For that to be possible, all public healthcare entities must receive the proper medicines. INSABI was created to achieve this constitutional mandate but the medicine distribution process implemented to meet its needs has faced significant challenges that has led to shortages.

To deliver the extraordinary medical supplies required by the government, which is around 2 billion units per year, suppliers must be able to distribute to the four public health institutes in the 32 states of the country. This is highly complex logistic, and technology plays a large supporting role for providers, distributors and public institutions.

Q: How is Maypo using technology to support its logistics and distribution processes?

A: Distribution companies need to plan their logistics after analyzing the yearly consumption of every type of medicine or healing material they manage. To do so, they need constant communication with clients to determine the average monthly consumption, while considering the ongoing situations that each state or institution is facing. For example, the State of Mexico has at least 500 delivery destinations and all these sites have the same consumption trends. This average allows suppliers to determine if a weekly, biweekly or monthly delivery suits their needs. When companies manage large numbers of orders, with around 20,000 delivery points and 50,000-60,000 invoices and document processes, technology becomes essential and allows us to optimize the cost-benefit ratio. Not giving this process the necessary attention can compromise the supply to the population. We have to keep in mind that we are dealing with medicines and healing materials, which are some of the most complex products to distribute.

Maypo has carried out these processes for years, which means we understand their complexity and why we adopted technology to meet demand. Technology has allowed us to keep track of inventories, consumption trends and placed orders, among other critical aspects of a successful medicine distribution. Maypo’s communication and data analysis facilitates our processes by providing us an even more precise panorama of our distribution network. We are also able to link with our clients’ data through an RP (Revolutionary Preservation) system that allows warehouse and inventory control. Real-time stop-by-stop tracking of medical shipments; monitoring, tracking, and documentation of environmental conditions during transport.

Maypo has five major warehouses fully equipped with a picking and packing system with temperature-sensitive medication. We also have a collection system for our operators that allows us to minimize errors. Another warehouse has a picking system to pack the orders. These automated solutions have reduced errors and packaging times. 

Maypo has already introduced plans to renew its technology as the challenge of distribution continues to grow with COVID-19, which encouraged us to open new business lines for last-mile and home delivery to patients. The latter had exponential growth during this period.  

Q: How has the switch to UNOPS changed the medicine supply around Mexico?

A: The inclusion of UNOPS was meant to increase access but its implementation presented considerable delays. The new scheme excluded logistics companies from the distribution process of medicines, so manufacturing companies had to fulfil the distribution themselves. To close the gaps that appeared during the implementation of this process, it is necessary to take logistics companies into consideration because we have the experience, infrastructure and capacity to supply medicines. UNOPS and INSABI can audit the companies willing to participate in the new distribution process and they should be open to a collaborative effort.

Maypo’s experience in Mexico’s pharmaceutical supply chains shows that the country has companies with the capacity to be an active partner in the distribution process, from planning to execution. To date, we have only been consulted; there has not been a true approach to the private sector.

We stress the importance of collaboration between companies and the government because we know we can meet their expectations for capacity and transparency, which is what they are seeking. We want to build a relationship based on trust where we can both meet the needs of the population.

Q: How has Maypo’s commercialization service supported pharmaceutical companies entering the market and to enhance access to therapies?

A: The medicine purchase process changed when UNOPS entered the equation. The process has one single buyer, which is INSABI in representation of all health institutions in Mexico, so suppliers have to fulfil larger orders than when sales were divided by institution. This is more costly for companies because the cost of direct distribution to a remote state might be more expensive than what they are getting paid for the units.

Maypo is now helping companies commercialize their products by providing collection and storage to then prepare and distribute them. We also support their administrative processes so they are able to join the tender, sell, deliver and collect their payment. Maypo has become an end-to-end company for Mexican and multinational pharmaceutical laboratories, as the change in the acquisition process included an open participation of multinational companies that previously could not access the market.

Our experience has placed us at the top of mind of both local and international laboratories. For example, we have represented Gilead Sciences and other multinational companies, which puts us in a privileged position when other companies want to enter this market.

Maypo has a strong compliance area and a respectful working environment. We went from 900 associates in March 2020 to over 2,000. We now have 40,000m2 of pharmaceutical warehouse capacity.

 

Farmacéuticos Maypo is a Mexican company dedicated to the commercialization, distribution, import and promotion of general and high specialty drugs. It also provides logistics services for the life science sector.

Photo by:   Maypo
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst