Raman Wattamwar
Senior Regional Head Latin America
MSN Group
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View from the Top

Vertical Manufacturing Improves Mexican Pharmacoeconomics

By Miriam Bello | Tue, 12/22/2020 - 08:00

Q: How has MSN Group evolved to respond to healthcare needs?

A: We were founded in 2003 and since then, MSN has enjoyed exponential growth. We are continuously working on innovating our processes for APIs and formulations. The core of our business has been affordability, which has been possible thanks to our vertically integrated R&D and Production processes. These processes include R&D of APIs and formulations and manufacturing of APIs and formulations, everything is done by the company. This has ensured our competitiveness but, most importantly, the quality of all our products.

Our global dossier has also been a key to success in different markets. The products we offer in the US are the exact same quality as those destined for Latin America. Mexico, as one of the most populated zones, is an important market for our company and we are planning a significant expansion in the country over the next three years.  

Q: In which areas does MSN specialize regarding drug development?

A: Four years ago, MSN began expanding its presence in Latin America, Central America and the Caribbean. In terms of specialty areas, we are strong in cardiovascular therapies, diabetes, oncology, hematology, CNS and urology. In Mexico, we are gaining relevance with our brand through our local subsidiary MSN Life Care for finished products, through which we intend to strengthen these therapeutic areas by registering as much as we can to expand in the market. In Mexico, we are already a strong player in API sales and we are 100 percent confident our formulations will fare similarly due to our affordability and quality.

Q: What are the key investment areas for MSN?

A: Continuous investment in technology is a key driver for MSN and has facilitated our expansion. We have highly competitive plants that develop new molecules constantly. We are focused on generics but through innovation, we are fostering new product developments that will help us maintain our leadership position in the market. We also invest in our infrastructure and collaborators, which has also been vital for our growth. We constantly look to innovate our facilities and also expand our capacity by adding more manufacturing capabilities globally.

We are working to enter both the public and private sectors. Chronic therapies for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes are very important for the private sector while therapies related to oncology and hematology, alongside injected therapies, have more market share in the public sector.

Q: How have the changes in Mexico’s political climate impacted MSN?

A: 2020 has not been the best year for pharmaceutical companies in Mexico. The pandemic, coupled with regulatory changes and COFEPRIS’ extended approval times, has made it hard to prosper. The industry needs to remain up to date on the day-to-day changes. However, we know that the government is trying to build a better environment in Mexico and this involves reforms in the healthcare sector. MSN understands and adapts to these changes to continue working in the country. We hope that in 2021, the sector will stabilize and spur faster growth in the country.

Q: As an API manufacturer, how has your work been impacted by COVID-19?

A: We manufacture APIs in India, where we have a qualified collaborator and local supply for our plant. Initially, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our logistics operations as most of the passenger and cargo flights were canceled but things have stabilized. This was a multisectoral issue but suppliers have recovered and we are now working smoothly.

Overall, the API industry remains the same. However, the balance between supply and demand is off. Manufacturers have been deeply affected in some countries. Recovery is also uncertain as many governments are focusing on the pandemic in terms of medicine purchases, which leaves other therapeutic areas unattended. Moreover, there are delays in many orders and demand will take a while to come back. Once the COVID-19 vaccine is ready, demand will begin to normalize.

Q: What are your short-term goals for MSN in Mexico?

A: We want to become a key pharmaceutical company in Mexico. We have a huge pipeline of products for the US and we are looking forward to bringing them to Mexico. Our cardiovascular, diabetes, oncological and hematological therapies can have a very positive impact on Mexico’s health system and economy. MSN is already looking forward to participating in the UNOPS tenders to be part of the government’s purchasing scheme and we are also looking to enter the private market. MSN will also launch molecules here in Mexico to add more value to the country’s pharmacoeconomics. Our goal is help reduce the cost of medicines and expand access to various therapies.

 

MSN Group is the fastest-growing Indian research-based pharmaceutical company. Founded in 2003 with the mission of making healthcare affordable, it has nine API and five finished dosage facilities.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst