Arístides Salazar
General Manager for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Region
Emcure Pharmaceuticals
View from the Top

Taking Treatment to a Larger Number of Patients

Wed, 09/05/2018 - 11:26

Q: What role does Mexico play in Emcure’s global operations?

A: In terms of sales, Mexico is one of the most important countries among emerging markets. However, our potential is limited because we cannot access the public market. This is a key restriction that affects our growth and as a result we are highly focused on the private market.

Nonetheless, the restriction we face given the lack of a free-trade agreement with India is forcing us to be more creative and to negotiate with our headquarters to see if in the future we could have a local manufacturing site. This is a process that will take a long time.

Q: Mexico’s epidemiological transition is creating new business and innovation opportunities. What are Emcure’s plans in this area?

A: Given that we are a generics company, we need to consider the patents issue. Chronic diseases represent a significant opportunity for us. Innovation in the pharmaceutical research industry has been very limited. It is difficult to create new medicines with a differentiator in terms of efficiency or therapy. Although there is still much to be done, when you talk about hypertension, cholesterol or even diabetes, doctors know how to control these ailments with products that are already on the market. What we want is for these medications to reach more people.

Q: Which technological application is Emcure’s highest priority?

A: Technology focused on the process of medicine elaboration has brought us new molecules that can cure diseases for which patients had no options in the past. The problem is that this situation increases the cost of treatment. Companies like Emcure are also focused on biosimilar products and on taking these treatments to a larger number of patients.

Q: How can Emcure adapt to the changes in medicinal consumption habits Mexico faces?

A: There has definitely been a change in consumption habits in the past 10 to 15 years. When the generics industry started around 20 years ago, there were few medicines in the market and people did not know about them. It is a market that has evolved, although its evolution in Mexico has been somewhat late. More than adapting, we want to add to this change in consumption of medicines. People are becoming more aware of what generics are. As citizens, we must also trust in the approval process that COFEPRIS has put in place, which has become a reference in many other countries. In fact, having a medication approved by COFEPRIS gives companies a fast track for approval in other Latin American countries.

Q: What role do generics play in delivering health results and providing more effective access to medicines?

A: It has the most important role. Generics are the reason why a greater number of people have access to certain products or medicines. When patented products lose their exclusivity, prices tend to rise. What we are looking for as a generics company is to provide these medications to more people. At the end of the day, there is always going to be a market for both, patented and generics. Even though they overlap in some areas, there is a clear differentiation between the two.

Q: What is behind the growth of this market in Mexico?

A: People are actively looking for generic products, but there will always be a segment for innovative and patented products. I think people are losing their fear of using generic drugs but I also believe that generics companies need to raise awareness about brands. In our case, we want people to know that Emcure’s products have the same quality as those manufactured by large companies in the sector.