In order to mark its 65th anniversary, the Mexican Association of Pharmaceutical Research Industries (AMIIF) organized on March 25-26, 2015 in Mexico City the Semana de la Innovación, a week of events dedicated to promote innovation in health.
Established on March 23, 1950, AMIIF brings together the 42 leading national and international research-based pharmaceutical companies with the common objective of supporting medical innovation to improve the health of the Mexican population. “AMIIF is interested in building up a common front for health in Mexico, because we know health is the key denominator to develop all strategic sectors of the country. According to experts in global economic development, a healthy country is a productive country,” affirms Cristóbal Thompson, executive director of AMIIF.
Health in Mexico faces serious challenges. The burden of diseases of the Mexican population is dramatically changing, quickly moving from communicable to non-communicable diseases. According to the 2012 National Health Survey, seven in ten Mexicans are suffering from overweight, with the highest incidence among children. Also, it is estimated that nearly 15 percent of Mexicans suffer from diabetes, making the condition a top priority for the Ministry of Health. Also, in Mexico the total expenditure on health is only 6.2 percent, way below the average 9.3 percent of other OECD countries, and with almost half of it still being out-of-pocket. A further hindrance to an effective provision of healthcare is the high fragmentation of the system among different institutions: despite an announced reform intended to foster portability and exchange of services among different institutions, not much has been done until now.
Access is a further obstacle, especially R&D driven companies face. According to an IMS Health study carried out in 2014, in Mexico it takes up to 4.3 years for a new treatment to be listed in the public healthcare sector, compared to two years in the UK and Japan, and 3.4 years in Brazil. Good news is that on occasion of the Innovation Week Mikel Arriola, head of the regulatory authority COFEPRIS, announced the approval of 70 new generics and 17 new molecules, among them five orphan drugs.
“AMIIF is interested in finding common solutions that can help the healthcare system as a whole, because only in this way we can generate favorable conditions for patients to have access to innovation. We have a genuine interest in improving the health, because we know that besides the development of our industry, we are all patients,” points out Luis Calderón, president of AMIIF.
The Innovation Week encompassed a number of conferences and round-tables, which saw the participation of health experts, authorities from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economy, the regulatory authority COFEPRIS, the private industry as well as researchers and academia. All with a common objective: stress the importance of the investment in health to the economic development of the country.
For additional information please visit:
AMIIF’s website: www.amiif.org
Click here to read PharmaBoardroom’s interview with Cristóbal Thompson, Executive Director of AMIIF