Víctor Soto
Director General
Distribuidora Levic
View from the Top

Common Strategy Needed to Increase Access to Medications

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 16:07

Q: Approximately 80 percent of the medications you sell are generics and 20 percent are patented. How will the new distribution center in Vallejo impact your product portfolios?
A: With our new distribution center in Vallejo, we will be able to grow our portfolio to more than 10,000 different products. These will include almost all available generic medications in the market and will create an opportunity to broaden our offer of patented medications, OTCs and formulas. Everything is part of our objective to provide more health resources to the population. In the short term, we are aiming for sales of about 50 percent generics and 50 percent patented medicines in terms of value. In units, this translates to 75 percent generic medications and 25 percent patented products and others.
Q: How might technology transform the medicine distribution sector in the long term?
A: Distribuidora Levic is a 100 percent Mexican company with a strong commitment to providing safe, quality medicines and medical supplies to people with the objective of increasing access to healthcare and improving the population’s quality of life. Our new distribution center in Vallejo, Mexico City, is making efforts to automate its processes and we expect it to be up and running in November. Automation will not lead to a complete transformation, but it will improve the speed, efficiency and precision in which sorting is carried out, which will be reflected in better service for the population.
Q: How does Levic guarantee fast delivery of products given the particular challenges of the region, including security and infrastructure?
A: Our logistical operation is highly effective in reaching clients every day in every corner of the country. If there is a contingency due to a security issue, we send the order again after a 24-hour window to ensure the client receives the order. Highway security incidents represent losses of close to MX$10 million (US$510,000) yearly. We try to minimize them with 24-hour monitoring through satellite tracking of all our units, as well as guards on particular routes.
Q: What would you identify as the main challenge in the pharmaceutical industry in Mexico?
A: There is a need for a strategy between the pharmaceutical industry and the government that allows greater access to medications and other health-related resources for the population, while at the same time stimulating development of the industry to generate jobs and to boost the economy.
Q: Last year, you mentioned Distribuidora Levic was expecting to grow 70 percent in the next five years. What actions are you taking to accomplish growth?
A: Our growth in 2019 will only be 3 percent below what we expected. We believe the cause was weaker national economy. This will improve in 2020 when all the changes we are seeing reach a level of maturity. We will continue to look for new clients and markets, expanding our portfolio and improving our service. At the moment, we do not have a solid projection of growth for the next five years due to the current economic landscape. However, we hope to grow at a double-digit rate annually over the next two years.
Q: What are your three main goals for 2019-2020?
A: The first will be to start full operations at our new distribution plant: the CEDIS project in Vallejo. Secondly, we want to extend our portfolio to increase our competitiveness in the market. Lastly, we want to maintain our double-digit growth.