The Argentinian healthcare system is subject to rules, in which delivery agreements for medicines to health insurance agents undergo health funders guidelines and other regulations imposed by the Superintendency of Health Services Office. Dr. Raúl Pistorio, Executive Director of Farmalink, the company responsible for this process, discusses this peculiar regulatory arrangement.
As an expert of the Argentinian healthcare industry, could you please give us an overview of the country’s current healthcare system?
The Argentinian healthcare system depends on the coexistence of three individual subsystems: the public sector, the private sector, and social security. This imbues the area of health a peculiar logic, since these subsystems differ in their target populations, the services they provide and the origin of available resources.
Argentina was characterized for many years by the efficiency and quality of their particular health system with many actors, but for the last two decades the system is diminished in its capacities, and is facing a number of important issues. In recent times the public subsystem, which is composed by public hospitals and primary healthcare facilities, operating under the coordination of ministries and departments of health in various jurisdictions (national, provincial and municipal), provides free services, but has suffered extensive damage, by the social and economic situation.
The public subsystem had to absorb in recent decades increasing impairment of social security, by the increase in informal employment and the growing international labor outsourcing process, with the consequent loss of mandatory contributions from workers (that were previously linked to the status of formal worker).
Nowadays the Argentina population, as regards the healthcare coverage level is as follows: 46 percent through the agents of social security, 39 percent some of the different services provided by the public sector, and finally about 15 percent the private sector.
Could you please provide an historical overview of Farmalink?
Our company specializes in the administration and control system of delivery agreements for outpatient drugs to health insurance agents nationwide.
Almost 99 percent of laboratories operating in Argentina, are involved in Farmalink managed agreements. 40 percent of Farmalink’s business is conducted with multinationals laboratories, another 40 percent is with big national laboratories, and the remaining 20 percent is with small national laboratories.
With over fifteen years of experience in the area of health, we have established a recognized position in the market: we are currently processing about ten million prescriptions per month, for 60 health insurance agents.
Our technological development is constantly evolving, which, together with the capacity of our human resources, allows us to anticipate the constant changes in the business, providing effective solutions that meet the needs of our customers.
What is the scope of your operations today?
Our core activity is the physical control of pharmaceutical prescriptions, validating, among other verifications, drugs prescribed, drugs supplied and prices. We generate innovative management tools, integration of value chain, and support decision-making, which includes on-line validation outpatient prescriptions drugs at pharmacies. Pharmacies network in the country using on-line validation services, reaches 13,500 pharmacies. We also have our own data center, with advanced technology and safety standards under local and international regulations. Having said all of that, it is important to mention that Farmalink is not involved in the marketing or production pharmaceutical chain, but our actions arise from the time the beneficiary comes to the pharmacy with the prescription already issued by the physician.
What makes Farmalink essential to the smooth functioning of Argentina’s healthcare industry?
There are other companies that are engaged in the same activity. We promote transparency and equality in a fragmented and competitive industry. No matter if you come from the public or private sector, we process all kinds of prescriptions without distinction. Because of this commitment to transparency, we are respected across the country as setup satisfies consumers, laboratories, wholesalers and pharmacies who all benefit from the information, transparency, and compliance that our operations promote.
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