With Mexico’s pharmaceutical market expected to bring in at least $22.5 billion and the medical device market attracting at least $5.4 billion by 2020, investors worldwide are making moves to cash in on new opportunities in the nation’s healthcare sector, which was already valued at more than $10 billion as far back as 2008.
A “perfect storm” of sorts is responsible for the sector’s projected growth. Factors that are providing an impetus for the growth include Mexico’s increasing elderly population, improvements in regulatory guidelines, government support for the healthcare sector and the North American Free Trade Agreement, which assures easy sharing of goods across borders, along with protection of intellectual property rights for participating members.
Growing Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Markets
“In 2010, the Mexican pharmaceutical market was the 14th largest in the world, and second in Latin America after Brazil,” states data released by Daiichi Sankyo, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical giants.
Also of note, the Mexican government has been increasingly successful in implementing steps to achieve universal healthcare coverage, known as Seguro Popular PHI, and much of the population is also covered under social security or private healthcare insurance. Between 2005 and 2012 Mexico’s pharmaceutical sector received a total of $2.9 billion in foreign direct investment, with the U.S., Luxemburg, Ireland, Canada and Japan serving as the main contributors.
“The share of multi-national companies in Mexico is high,” shares online market research firm ReportsnReports.com in a recent press release. “The leading multi-national companies are Pfizer, Merck, Sanofi and Novartis, while the leading domestic players are Genomma Lab Internacional and Laboratorios Liomont.”
In addition, the medical device market in Mexico is projected to grow by at least 5.7 percent to reach an estimated $5.4 billion by 2020 – up from a valuation of $2.8 billion in 2008. As of 2013, ophthalmic devices were leading this surge at 15.4 percent, followed by nephrology and urology devices at 14.8 percent and orthopedic devices at 14.5 percent.
The regulatory authority in Mexico has provided a strong and increasingly transparent environment with shorter lag times and expedited approval of new and established pharmaceutical products and medical devices, which is also spurring growth in these important sectors. The Federal Commission for Protection Against Health Risks (COFEPRIS) is also working closely with the Ministry of Health to obtain efficient marketing authorization for new drugs and medical devices by ensuring the execution of good laboratory practices and satisfactory compliance reviews for the safety, efficacy and quality of drugs.
“To manufacture pharmaceutical products in Mexico,the major requirement is a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certificate, which is provided by COFEPRIS after inspection of the establishment and review of the relevant documents,” writes ReportsnReports.com. “COFEPRIS also regulates the exports and imports of pharmaceutical products in Mexico.”
High Quality Healthcare
Seguro Popular PHI is already providing high quality coverage to millions, including a growing number of Americans and expats from around the world who are living in Mexico. In fact, according to InternationalLiving.com’s annual Global Retirement Index,t he quality of Mexico’s healthcare is ranked among the top five nations in the world, following France,Uruguay,Malaysia and Costa Rica.
This is pretty impressive, considering that just 10 years ago nearly half of Mexico’s population (roughly 110 million people) had no access to medical insurance at all, since coverage was linked mainly to employment. To take advantage of coverage provided by Seguro Popular, it is not necessary to establish citizenship in Mexico, but applicants must provide proof of legal residence.
“The Mexican government provides easy access to healthcare facilities to the population through its high number of primary care services, hospitals and national specialty institutions, with highly sophisticated medical care,” writes ReportsnReports.com. “The primary care centers are prevalent in rural as well as urban areas.”