Paul Doulton
Founder And Managing Partner
View from the Top

New Players, New Opportunities

Wed, 09/05/2018 - 09:46

Q: What strategies can be applied to increase access to healthcare in Mexico?

A: The success of allowing access to hundreds of thousands through medical offices located inside many pharmacies offers important lessons for improving access. These offices handle as many consultations a day as the entire social security network, save waiting hours at IMSS clinics, provide many patients with an adequate diagnosis and supply the necessary generics. All this at a cost that is accessible to the patient, while reducing the high incidence of selfmedication and avoiding the perverse incentive of disability or sick pay that obstruct IMSS waiting rooms. This saves IMSS millions of pesos in medicines and also saves time. To overcome the criticism that these offices are not up to standard, standards have been established and applied, which has allowed their continuous improvement. The other way to improve access is to allow patients to see a doctor at any institution, regardless of their affiliation, something that was in the original mandate for the creation of Seguro Popular.

Q: What are Oriundo’s expectations for the country?

A: We have gone through periods of uncertainty in the past but I think there is no need to worry. Today, Mexico has COFEPRIS, a globally recognized regulatory agency, world recognized global standard generics and highly competitive modern, flexible manufacturing plants for pharmaceuticals. These standards are transforming Mexico into the preferred source of supply in Latin America and North America and explains why investment continues.

Q: What should healthcare companies expect from a renewed NAFTA and TPP11?

A: We need to look closely at the results of NAFTA and TPP11, but it seems that the scenario will be positive. Most companies have a wide range of products and different business models. There are other more important challenges for health companies in the country. Their business models are making them strong players in the domestic market and the results of CPTPP or NAFTA should not have a major impact on their performance. Some CPTPP countries are far less competitive than Mexican companies, so I guess the treaties will strengthen Mexico’s pharma and healthcare industries because of its full compliance with global standards and regulations. The last few years have witnessed a number of would-be entrants, especially in generics, that have failed because neither their standards nor business models match the needs of the Mexican market.

Q: What is the most common profile of the companies you work with and how do you help improve their business?

A: Our most frequent successes have come from market entry strategy guidance to foreign companies that want to enter the Mexican market. We help them understand what is required for success, be this partnering or licensing with local companies, acquisition, and above all our “hit the deck running” model. The fastest growing service now is portfolio rejuvenation, assisting both Mexican and more recently local subsidiaries in locating new therapies. And with any consulting project, our goal is to ensure that our clients can create and sustain genuine differentiation through either improved technology, smarter business models or better still, both. Competing simply on the basis of price is a downhill race to extinction.

A recent case in point is a small US oncology company, which is differentiating itself not only through better drugs but through inhibitors of the resistance creators such as STAT3 proteins and a companion full diagnostic service. This is the technology differentiation, but then we need to partner with a local company whose differentiated business model encompasses running local clinical trials, not just to meet regulatory requirements but to ensure rapid adoption through the Cuadro Básico for earlier adoption by the public sector, the major buyer of oncology treatments. We are also exploring new alliances with companies operating in Mexico and Latin America to discover new and revolutionary medicines.