The Business Year

An emerging economy and attractive demographic profile have turned Mexico into a lucrative market for pharmaceutical companies of all sorts.

Américo Garcia

Director General LATAM, APOTEX

APOTEX Mexico was originally a local company acquired by APOTEX in Canada. The company has been in Mexico for over 22 years. About 60% of the medicine that APOTEX sells worldwide is made with an active pharmaceutical ingredient made in Mexico. This shows APOTEX’s long-term commitment to Mexico. In total, we are about 1,200 employees in Mexico and Central America. While LATAM is the smallest region in terms of revenue, it has become the third largest in terms of profit, thanks largely to our change in strategy. Instead of being based purely on a substitution market, APOTEX LATAM began offering value-added programs for physicians and patients, entered new territories and segments, and developed its ability to successfully launch selected products first. Moreover, we changed the culture of the company by creating an environment focused on more strategic and creative thinking. That has led to more innovation and a more collaborative environment based on mutual trust and respect. One key thing is R&D. We are also now launching brands. We strive to diversify our products as much as possible. We are keeping an eye out for patents that focus on the central nervous system, analgesia, and cardiology; several of them are about to expire. We want to be ahead of the competition in terms of bringing in new affordable products. R&D remains a key factor for this, which is why we are investing 18% in R&D, more than any other company.

Jorge Brake

CEO, Genomma Lab

We believe that the Mexican economy is under control. We will focus on what we can influence; in this regard we have redesigned our five-year strategy and started implementing in 2019. We are mainly present in Latin America, as well as in the US. We continue to believe in our growth potential. As of today, we do not see major threats or risks in terms of regulatory changes concerning medicines in the healthcare sector. We are the first Mexican company in the healthcare sector to go global. Additionally, we are now finalizing the construction of our large plant in Toluca with an investment of over USD70 million. This plant is going to cover our needs in Mexico as well as in Latin America. For now, its installed capacity should suffice to meet our growth plans for the next 10 years. We drew up the plans for this plant because of the increasing demand for our products. In order to grow in the future, we will de-niche our business. At present, roughly 50% of our business is in OTC and 50% is in personal care. Genomma started out as a pharmaceutical, over-the-counter products company, but in the recent past the company has acquired certain brands in the shampoo and skin care categories to expand into personal care. We believe in our potential on that front. Moving forward, we will focus on top line growth, making sure that we continue improving the bottom line financially. We believe that we can achieve this by optimizing our portfolio of brands. We can also do this by better exploiting our potential in key countries such as the US, Brazil, and Argentina.

Sandrine Dupriez

Director General, Sandrine Dupriez

Mexico is our main market after France. We are in 16 countries apart from France, where we are based. Mexico is the company’s most important subsidiary in the global market. It helps that parents here want the best care for their babies. We have had excellent positioning from the start. The company has 1,100 employees, of which 200 are in Mexico. Mexico is an extremely dynamic market where we can initiate things and do them quickly. The second-most important business unit after baby care is osteoarthritis, which is equal to Mustela. The rheumatology part has become important because there is a strong incidence of obesity here. We are extremely attentive to the market and constantly looking at ways to grow. From 2017-2018, our operations in Mexico grew 17%, and in the first five months of 2019 alone we are 19% above budget. This is difficult to achieve in Europe, which is a mature market. We are always looking to launch new products. We recently launched a soap, the first of our products made in Mexico. The base ingredient for all Mustela products is avocado. We launched it in early 2019, and have already sold 40% of what we delivered in one month. This product is the first of our products made outside of France and has been extremely successful. For babies, a few years ago Mustela distinguished the types of skins among babies. It is important to take care of babies from the moment they are born. We are the only brand that covers the various skin types of babies.



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