News Article

Pharmaceutical Sector to Grow, Focus on Chronic Diseases

By Antonio Gozain | Wed, 08/31/2022 - 11:46

The Mexican pharmaceutical sector has undergone several changes over the past few years, as the COVID-19 pandemic changed medicine distribution patterns in the public and private sectors, allowing the latter to grow considerably. The health industry is increasingly adopting digitization, IA and biotechnology, while people’s life expectancy increases. Thus, the pharmaceutical sector must adapt to meet the market’s changing needs, said Julio Sánchez y Tepoz, Partner, Health Sanitary Consulting.

Considering Mexico’s increase in life expectancy and its problem with chronic diseases, it is expected for 63 percent of the pharmaceutical market to be directed to the treatment of chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs), said Sánchez: “The industry must pay attention to several factors. By 2024, 30 percent of the population will be over 45 years old, which is about 39 million people. In addition, 12.6 percent will be over 60 years old.”

Mexico’s National Health Plan 2019-2024 identifies CNCDs, in particular cancer and cardio-metabolic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, as the main challenge for the health system due to their magnitude, great impact on premature mortality and quality of life and the costs of treating the disease and its complications. “In Mexico, the concern is not limited to getting sick, but mainly with how to assume the expenses of a disease. This is a problem that has not been solved for years,” said Sánchez.

While the pharmaceutical sector does not represent the entire health industry, it plays an essential role in providing the necessary medicines to both the private and public sectors, said Sánchez. Prevention, public sector planning and participation of all industry players, among others, complement the health ecosystem, he added.

In 2018, over 2.7 billion medicine units were commercialized in Mexico, with 41 percent of them going to the private sector and 59 percent to the public sector, said Sánchez. In 2021, the number of units commercialized “was similar” but the private sector took 51 percent of the market. “The pandemic accelerated commercialization of medicines, particularly in the private sector. In fact, if the value chain and logistics had not suffered problems, the private market would have grown twice,” he added.

As Mexico continues facing healthcare challenges, the country must adapt to the main global trends. “Digital health has become essential. Patients are more informed than ever before. On the other hand, AI must be leveraged to make data-driven decisions and, finally, biotechnology must be fostered in Mexico,” said Sánchez.

Prior to the pandemic, healthtech was a vision for the future. Today, it is present in diagnosis, treatment, management and innovation. Pharmaceutical companies are leading the way in tech integration. “We are convinced that technology facilitates business. Adapting to changes, opportunities, trends, requirements, regulations and controls is easier using technology,” said to MBN Fernando Gamallo, CIO of Sanfer.

In Mexico, all actors participating within the health ecosystem must participate in decision-making processes to overcome challenges. “The private sector plays a critical role. We must participate and contribute on health decisions,” said Sánchez.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Photo by:   MBP
Antonio Gozain Antonio Gozain Journalist and Industry Analyst