New Tools to Access the Public MarketWed, 09/06/2017 - 16:31
Q: What have been IIIFAC’s biggest challenges and opportunities over the last year?
JF: We worked to create a database of Big Data on purchasing behaviors in the public pharmaceutical market and we developed a multiplatform business-intelligence system covering over 70 million unitary registries. The database contains information about each drug available in the market, such as the contract value, the consumption and inventories, as well as the number of prescriptions, in more than 100 public-sector institutions. Today, more than 45 pharmaceutical companies in the country are using it.
Q: In what areas is innovation more prevalent in the Mexican pharmaceutical industry?
JF: We believe that our business intelligence system enables our clients to predict market movements. For example, we saw last year that ISSSTE requested approximately 237,000 units of duloxetine but we saw in our business intelligence that months before, ISSSTE had decreased the authorized consumption of duloxetine to practically zero. We are committed to working with our clients to resolve these inquiries. We also launched market research on the consolidated tender results published in June 2017 in which we were able to recognize which product categories IMSS is over-purchasing and predict which of these categories will not reach 100 percent consumption over the year.
Q: What advantages can this system provide regarding the provision of healthcare in Mexico?
JF: The access to this information will raise awareness about the current model of health administration. For example, we all know the advantages of early insulinization; however, IMSS continues to treat patients with Metformin because it is cheaper and reaches a wider range of the population, although its continued use causes pancreatic insufficiency. The institutions have to choose between purchasing expensive drugs that delay the progression of a disease or cheap medicine that can only help send patients home. Article Four of the Mexican Constitution says that citizens have the right to medical care but does not state that their life is above an assigned budget.
Q: IIIFAC offers a certification in access to public health institutions. What training needs have you recognized?
JF: There is a dramatic need for specialization. Pharmaceutical companies have recognized that there is not much growth with private clients and one representative in the government can be as rentable as 17 in the private sector. Therefore, most of our students are representatives of the pharmaceutical companies who we are helping shift from the concept of medicine based on experience to medicine based on existence. Government physicians do not have freedom of prescription but they are subject to the authorized basic chart of what is available at the time of prescription. Therefore, executives should be able to sit down with the directors of the public institutions and talk about costs and benefits.
Q: What are the main objectives for your institution in 2017?
EM: Increase our client base and continue our certification program to strengthen our presence as a research institution in the healthcare sector. We expect that in five years the public sector will represent 60 or 70 percent of the units in the market in Mexico and that, at that point, there will be a health reform that insists on the regulation of data, which is very important to health economics models.
Q: What are the industry’s expectations for current pharmacoeconomic strategies?
EM: The industry is focused on the consolidated purchase. This is an interesting initiative because it allows better prices and fewer processes to acquire medicines. However, there are some issues. Consolidated purchasing does not mean access to drugs for the population. The purchases only represent between 50 and 60 percent of the market and the main institutions, such as IMSS and ISSSTE, do not reach 70 percent. In the end, the consolidated purchase is focused only on saving money and not better service because the prices demanded of the laboratories are not sustainable for them.