Generics & Biosimilars

After overcoming initial mistrust from the public, generics are making inroads in the Mexican drug market, including private institutions, as a cost-effective alternative. A change in law requiring doctors to prescribe an active ingredient and not a patented brand has greatly boosted consumer awareness of prices and the efficacy of generics. However, the new pharmacovigilance NOM-220- SSA-2015, that was officially approved in September 2016, is raising concerns given its biotech implications. Many generics companies focus on sales to the government, which needs to stretch budgets to cover an increasing number of patients, while public sector entities most often choose generic medicine over brands where possible. In recent years, public sector institutions have begun a consolidated purchasing process to increase efficiency and savings. This tender process prioritizes products manufactured in Mexico, thus boosting the local economy and providing an important incentive for companies to locate manufacturing plants here. The public sector is the largest single purchaser of generic medication in Mexico and often accounts for a large percentage of a company’s sales.

This chapter will present an overview of the companies that produce non-patented medicine in Mexico, be it allopathic or biotech, a branded or non-branded generic and OTCs. It will explore the challenges generics have yet to overcome and the future that the men and women at the helm of the companies have in mind for these medicines, especially in light of the wave of patent expirations during 2015-2020.