How Do You Difference Products in a Cost-Driven Market?Fri, 09/20/2019 - 18:08
Stronger regulations concerning generics production, along with high costs of patent medications, have led to a boom in the Mexican generics market, which is the largest in the medications segment in terms of sales volume. While the market for generics is expected to continue growing, challenges are also on the horizon, especially considering that customers are increasingly looking for the lowest available price. Mexico Health Review spoke with healthcare leaders and experts to get their opinion on how to differentiate in a price-driven environment.
There are few API manufacturers in Mexico. As a result, we hold strong ground in Mexico. The quality of a medication relies entirely on the quality of the API. Developing an API requires significantly more investment in R&D than in manufacturing of the finished product. We invest heavily in R&D and we often begin planning them over 10 years before they go off patent. This helps us to offer products to clients at a much more advanced or early stage of product development. We see the biggest competition coming from Asian companies that offer their products at a low price, but they lack great services and speed to reach the market. Hetero has a 500ha chemical complex in Vizag, India that manufactures 24/7, which allows us to offer a high volume of high-quality products at affordable costs.
Regarding our OTC portfolio, our strategy is to introduce better molecules to Mexico to develop our brands and increase our market share. We launched Graneodin F, introducing a new molecule Flurbiprofen that will work along with benzocaine, which was the traditional molecule we used in Mexico. We also launched ibuprofen products to complement our paracetamol product lineup Tempra and the equivalent of our Gaviscon technology Picot, marketed under the name of Picot Adv.
Mexico is an interesting market. Part of it behaves as an emerging market, while another as a mature one since the change in the population pyramid is more common to mature markets. As Mexicans live longer, they are much more prone to chronic neurodegenerative diseases, which will undoubtedly increase along with diabetes and cardiometabolic diseases. At the same time, there is a significant poverty rate in the country. This segment of the population is more sensitive to acute diseases, such as dengue. Apotex has invested in products for both markets through the generation of specialized strategies.