Francisco Cantú
Director General
Fármacos Proasse
/
View from the Top

Pharmacies Ensure Patient Safety During COVID-19 Crisis

By Miriam Bello | Fri, 07/17/2020 - 11:48

Q: How does Farmacos Proasse balance a portfolio of both common medication and specialized medicines?

A: Farmacos Proasse is always looking to have a wide variety of medicine for our different groups of clients. We work with generics, highly specialized generics and patents. We work directly with laboratories or through a distributer to ensure stock and avoid supply disruptions.

Q: How does Mexico’s epidemiological profile shape your product portfolio?

A: We see this change reflected in our pharmacy services. For chronic degenerative diseases, products evolve depending on the patient and the latest innovations in the market. But the profile also changes depending on the season. During warmer months, sales lean toward antidiarrheal medications and antihistamines. In the colder months, OTC medicine for colds and viral diseases grow in demand.

Q: Why is it important for Farmacos Proasse to incorporate different payment methods and delivery options?

A: As result of the pandemic, we diversified our payment methods. We offer to our different customers the possibility to pay by SPEI, check, credit or debit card charge by phone and TPV directly at the delivery point. As the pandemic emerged, we improved and added OXXO payment system because this company has many points of sale – way more than a normal bank – and this is much more practical for many clients. We offer home delivery services all across the country through our coordinated work with logistic distributers. We are covering Monterrey, Guadalajara and CDMX ourselves.

Q: How does Farmacos Proasse use technology to improve its services?

A: Our administrative service is fully digital and our logistics distribution partners use it to ensure the safe delivery of products. Moreover, our own distribution services in Monterrey and Guadalajara report everything to a digital platform that allows us to check on orders and provide proper follow-up.

Farmacos Proasse also has an online webpage that ensures our digital market is as strong as our physical points of sale and the platform allows all kinds of interactions for product orders. We are very interested in having a close relationship with the patient and the platform helps with that. Also, our customer service is always available to tend to clients’ concerns.

Q: How have you advanced in diversifying your client base?

A: Last year, we opened offices in Guadalajara to support our distribution services. We just open an office in Mexico City, which was planned to start in the first quarter of 2020 and delayed a little as a consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak. This office will be key to our growth and further development in the country. We are also present on our social networks to maintain close contact with our clients and give them the same attention we provide them as when they visit our branches.

Q: What challenges have you faced during the COVID-19 outbreak?

A: We have faced significant growth in home delivery services. Many of our clients shifted their consumption given the reduced number of doctor’s appointments. Also, surgeries and hospital stays have declined with the focus on COVID-19, so we have had less demand for products that cover post-surgery care. Antibacterial gel, sanitizers and protective kits with facemasks and gloves represent the bulk of the demand we are seeing. 

Q: How does pharmacovigilance impact your pharmacy services?

A: Through our quality control area, chemists make sure to check on all our processes and any reactions to our products. We keep in constant touch with laboratories to raise any red flags and we also send periodical reports to them. Farmacos Proasse also has external audit services to ensure that best practices are implemented.

Q: What are Farmacos Proasse’s near-term goals?

A: We have been active to ensure supply for our clients. The second half of the year is expected to be shaped by COVID-19, so we hope to adapt and minimize the impact. I hope that Mexico has a quick economic recovery to limit the out-of-pocket health expenditures Mexicans could incur.

 

Fármacos Proasse has three pharmacies and a distribution center in Monterrey, where the company is headquartered. The company also supplies medications to pharmacies, insurers and hospitals across the country

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst