Roberto León
Director General
Farmacias GI
View from the Top

Shooting for 1,500 Sales Points By 2018

Wed, 09/07/2016 - 10:00

Q: Farmacias GI’s main vision is to become the largest pharmaceutical distributor in Mexico. How close is the company to reaching this goal?

A: By mid-2016, the transformation of Farmacias GI’s corporate image must be complete. Then we will begin our expansion efforts, which are already strategized and analyzed. According to our agenda we will maintain controlled but significant growth in the coming months and there will be 1,500 selling points within the brand by 2018. After our new branding is secured all new stores will be incorporated into our company marketing strategy, which mainly focuses on the lower and middle socio-economic strata, commonly known as the D and C segments.

Q: How will your new image translate to an increased number in sales and market share?

A:Our corporate image restructuring has so far resulted in a 20-25 percent sales increment as new socioeconomic spheres are paying attention to Farmacias GI simply because of our new image and refurbished distribution points. The middle-class market share initially fell as it was believed our products would see a price increase. After realizing our change merely referred to image and quality of service with no impact in our prices we re-stabilized our margins.

Q: How does Farmacias GI ensure the right training of its doctors at the point of sale and how does it attract the best available talent?

A: At the end of the day, we must keep in line with COFEPRIS regulations. It states that all physicians must have a valid professional license and an individual service registry that Farmacias GI takes care of. That is the foundation of our operations. We also hold continuous training sessions with our commercial partners mostly led by laboratories in Mexico. They help us by providing our physicians with up-to-date information of the products we commercialize for them allowing them to better assess our clients’ conditions and achieve better patient outcomes.

Q: What elements does Farmacias GI take into consideration in their commercial partner selection process?

A: We evaluate which chronic conditions affect the Mexican population the most then we look for a range of medication that will soothe those ailments and laboratories. Our partners must comply with all health registries established by COFEPRIS, mainly regarding the NOM-059 that impacts both laboratories and distribution warehouses. The company will always put quality first.

Q: What are the most innovative products that Farmacias GI sells?

A: We have many more specialized products than we once did. We have not lost track of our original purpose of focusing on generic medication. We will continue bulking up on similar volumes. Today eight out of 10 drugs consumed by patients are generics. We want to encourage R&D in Mexico and support laboratories that create new biotechnological molecules, manufacture specialized drugs and commercialize them. But the Mexican market is moving toward generic drugs and major transnational companies are acquiring local generic laboratories to cover the growing demand.

Q: Where will we mostly see the Farmacias GI expand?

A: Our brand has been well received in every market we enter, most of all in Jalisco and Queretaro due to the number of franchises. Aguascalientes will see more franchises, as our new image has helped establish 18 new pharmacies. Guanajuato, Colima and Michoacan will see the biggest growth as they are responsible for a significant portion of our business. Farmacias GI will first strengthen its position then explore new markets. We will eventually have a presence throughout Mexico.

Q: How has Mexico’s generic market evolved in and where is it heading?

A: The taboo surrounding generic products has been removed. Through NOM-059 pharmacovigilance generics has strengthened, requiring larger investments and certifications from manufacturers. The market understands the efficiency of generic products largely as the result of the government’s efforts. This information is reaching all socioeconomic segments.