Cristobal Thompson is the executive director at AMIIF (Asociacion Mexicana de Industrias de Investigacion Farmaceutica). The AMIIF represents more than 60 global companies with the aim of contributing to improving health in Mexico through innovative medicine. Here Thompson discusses the need for stronger public-private sector alliances in the push towards universal health coverage in Mexico.
By linking the public, private, academic, and research sectors, health research promotes the specialization of health professionals and opens opportunities for the established industry in Mexico.
Every six years, the start of a new federal administration in Mexico presents a series of opportunities for those committed to improving social conditions to review their priorities and learn from the lessons of past administrations.
The government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who took power on December 1, has focused its attention not only on the topics of poverty and education gaps but has pointed out that the National Health System (SNS) is an issue of high priority that unfortunately hasn’t received enough attention in recent years. Every diagnosis of the SNS shows a clear need to act quickly to align the different health subsystems, expand healthcare coverage, and, above all, improve the quality of care.
How does the pharmaceutical sector participate in improving the health panorama in this country? The research-based pharmaceutical industry in Mexico is promoting models that measure the real impact that medications have on people’s quality of life. These new schemes don’t measure medication value solely in terms of the volume acquired by health institutions; they look at the added value that medications provide for patients. It’s worth saying that besides the benefits that these new models of access to innovative medicine bring to the patient, their family and their community, the models are designed to use the SNS’s available resources in effective and efficient ways.
Another important way in which the industry contributes to social and economic development is through health research. The industry is committed to the continuous search for better treatment options for all types of diseases. By linking the public, private, academic, and research sectors, health research promotes the specialization of health professionals and opens opportunities for the established industry in Mexico.
A few days ago, my colleague Thomas Cueni said in these same pages that “Our industry is much more than a supplier of medicines and vaccines and is increasingly pioneering new ways to overcome the multiple barriers to accessing quality healthcare.” Indeed, at AMIIF, our associates see themselves as much more than suppliers to a new government. We are a strategic ally. The possibility of achieving universal health coverage in Mexico relies upon the strength of these alliances.