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Digital Transformation in Drug Dispensing

By Marcos Pascual - Asesoria en farmacias
Director General


Marcos Pascual By Marcos Pascual | Director General - Fri, 12/09/2022 - 13:00

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Nowadays, accelerated technological change is forcing pharmacies and retail in general to stay ahead of the preferences of their clients, with simple processes and solutions within reach of their market.

On Thursday, Nov. 17, we promoted with the support of www.asesoriaenfarmacias.com the technology project "Mi Farmacia 360". www.mf360.com.mx 

This specialized software for pharmacies contributes to continuous improvement, for which the development and implementation of a point of sale focuses on the characteristics of omnichannel and easy availability.

This system is easily accessible via the internet, which facilitates the updating of versions, support, maintenance, and consultation of pharmacy information remotely, helping the operation of one or several branches.

 According to ANAFARMEX,  the updated census of the network of private pharmacies throughout the country shows a record 43,000 points of sale, with a presence for the traditional business of more than 27,000 branches, covering 65 percent of the total network in Mexico.

MF360 addresses  the current needs of pharmacies, such as regulatory issues, online sales, agreements with certified and recognized suppliers by the pharmaceutical industry, training and advice from experts and professionals endorsed by different official bodies or recognized organizations.

What happens today in Mexico with the availability of medicines and what role does the network of community and corporate pharmacies play in all this?

Mexico is the second-largest market in Latin America for the pharmaceutical industry; this industry represents 1.2 percent of national GDP and 7.2 percent of manufacturing GDP.

This places it  behind only Brazil and among  the Top 15 worldwide. The value of transactions in this market is estimated at MX$320 billion, of which MX$80 billion corresponds to the public sector. The installed capacity nationwide is equivalent to 5.7 billion pieces per year: however, only 60 percent of this capacity is used. One of the indices that clearly indicate that there is a huge gap for the national pharmaceutical sector is the deficit in the trade balance of this sector, because while the amount of exports oscillates around MX$21 billion pesos, that of imports is around MX$119 billion. On this issue, I take this opportunity to wish the best of luck to the national industry in the "Electronic Open International Public Tender No. LA-012M7B997-E115-2022, Consolidated Acquisition of Medicines for the 2023-2024 financial years" (618 KEYS), which is a participation opportunity for our great industry.

The access to biotechnological or biocomparable medicines will be another of the great benefits for the general population and a niche opportunity for private pharmacies, as generics were when they first arrived. Mexico can become a drug power in this area if it manages to define a regulation with a long-term vision and approved with other Latin American countries for the development of highly specialized and personalized medicines in the treatment of chronic-degenerative diseases. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has been immersed in important changes in medical matters. Our country should not be left out. It should venture into the future of medicine. That means biosimilars, which have turned out to be more efficient, compared to chemical (traditional) medicines, in attacking diseases, such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes and glaucoma  pharmacies can then fill these prescriptions.

ANAFARMEX coincides with AMELAF in its strategy and promotion of the national industry, for which it states that it is “better to manufacture biotechnological medicines in Mexico and not just import them from Germany or the United States. But balanced rules are needed for this, which is something new.” There is great potential for the development of biotechnological medicines and a strong interest from leading national laboratories to participate in this market.

An example of this is NEOPHARMA's announcement of an investment of MX$800 million in the expansion of its Vallejo plant, according to the mayor's office in Azcapotzalco, and the installation of two others in Coyoacan. Another important announcement was the production of bulk vaccines and biopharmaceuticals using   the RNA technology that was used in the preparation of vaccines against COVID-19.

Let's imagine the great benefit for diabetic and cancer patients if they could fill their prescriptions for  these medications at the corner or private pharmacy. Returning to the technological issue in Mexico, the traditional pharmacy is made up of small self-owned establishments and chain pharmacies that have corporate support that helps them achieve the best practices within the pharmaceutical industry. It is for this reason that it is important to help traditional pharmacies with  point of sale for pharmacies, accompaniment in regulatory issues, advertising on specialized sites, advice on the pharmaceutical business, e-commerce (online sales with automatic update and inventory).

On this last point, Mexico is among the top countries for the highest growth — between an estimated 15% and 17% — in e-commerce sales in Latin America. 

"My Farmacia 360" is a state-of-the-art computer system that will allow the traditional pharmacy to be managed in an agile and safe way, using the best practices of the pharmaceutical industry and constantly evolving to meet the commercial and regulatory needs of our country.

Photo by:   Marcos Pascual

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