Six Indian generic drug makers have signed letters of intent with the state of Hidalgo, Mexico to establish a pharma hub for manufacturing and logistics amid the country's push to establish a homegrown drug industry, The Economic Times of India reported.
Considered one of the most developed drugs markets in Latin America, Mexico currently houses around 200 pharmaceutical companies, including some large multinationals. But, after suffering a shortage of medicines during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, the country started looking to build its own drug supply chain on home soil.
The Indian pharmaceutical companies targeted in the effort - Dr. Reddy's, Zydus Cadila, Glenmark, Torrent and Hetero - will have access to Mexico's $10.6 billion drug market, the second largest in Latin America after Brazil, and are expected to make a push into neighboring countries, the Times said.
"Mexico has stringent regulatory standards, superior to most of its Southern neighbors, and its pharmaceutical imports last year stood at $4.3 billion," a commerce ministry official said.
India reported a 67.6% growth in drug exports to Mexico in the first five months of the ongoing fiscal year till August, to $92 million, from about $55 million in the same period last year, Ravi Uday Bhaskar, director general of the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) told ET. In the previous fiscal year, total exports to Mexico was about $160 million, he added.
"The Mexican government has a significant budget for public healthcare and the government procurement of medicines in 2019 stood at around $4.2 billion," said Lakshmi Prasanna, regulatory affairs director at Pharmexcil.
The letters of intent will give the Indian generic drug makers preferential status in the public procurement of medicines, as well as eased registration and export rules. Some of the companies that signed the agreement already have manufacturing facilities in Mexico, while others have marketing offices. Currently, about 21 Indian drug companies have established business operations in Mexico.
Sources: Economic Times of India • Fierce Pharma