William Escobar
Director General
Grupo Unipharm
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Insight

Renewing Commercial Vision in a Competitive Market

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 14:46

For generic companies, the rules of the public purchasing system have become clearer since the establishment of the consolidated purchase. However, the low prices paid by the government in the process have led them to seek more opportunities in the private sector, says William Escobar, General Director of Grupo Unipharm, an international generics company that is expanding to the commercialization of branded generics in its Mexican division.

“We want to go out with a new sales projection in the Mexican market. Our corporate structure here is still at a low level compared to our businesses in the Andes and Central America. Our vision is for Mexico to represent 75 percent of our operations and make the country our largest market,” Escobar says.

The company’s main objective with this commercial change is to go from “quality product at a very low price, to high- quality product at a fair price,” Escobar says. To achieve this goal, the pharmaceutical company, founded in Switzerland and based in Guatemala, is working to restructure its brand in the Mexican market, where the company’s operations grew 186 percent over the past year and with growth expected to reach 300 percent in 2017-2018.

Grupo Unipharm has been in the Mexican market for 20 years and its portfolio is composed of a primary care line, antitussives, antibiotics, products for women’s health, minerals and vitamins. In this context, the company is 

planning a new aperture to the market with a line of branded generics to expand private purchases and thus balance its sales in the public and private sectors, which now represent 76 and 24 percent, respectively. “The essence of Grupo Unipharm is to be a branded generic laboratory. Now we have both lines, pure generics for the government and branded for private companies,” says Escobar. Given the race to the bottom in terms of prices in the generics industry, Unipharm’s new line is aimed at chronic diseases, providing solutions for patients with recurrent cardiometabolic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity. There are also products for CNS, depression and for neuropathic pain. According to Escobar, this line will help the company migrate to a position halfway between the generic and the innovative brand. “With the quality and prices we will bring to the market we want to create more loyalty with patients and show the medical community that we are cost-effective.”

Besides increasing its portfolio from 36 to 54 products by 2018, Grupo Unipharm’s strategy also focuses on getting closer to health professionals by sending sales representatives to visit them face to face. Just like other medium-sized companies, Grupo Unipharm is pressured by market demand to be more efficient, faster and better. To meet this demand, the company is developing plans for the construction of a new plant in the State of Mexico that will manufacture solid, liquid, semi-solids and sterilized drugs. The plant will pursue international certifications to be more functional and dynamic for the grup's operations in the region.