Novartis México president Alexis Serlin Novartis México president Alexis Serlin. noticiales

Regulatory changes motivate Novartis

New investments of $50 million planned, along with more R&D spending

The world’s leading pharmaceutical company plans to invest US $50 million in clinical research in Mexico over the next five years as a result of regulatory changes by a federal health agency.

Switzerland-based Novartis currently invests about $3.5 million a year in research and development in Mexico, a figure that would rise to $10 million following the new capital investment, Novartis México president Alexis Serlin told a news conference.

Its sales here totaled $551 million last year, representing 3.6% market share.

Mexico has become more attractive for the development of new products thanks to policy changes by Cofepris, the Federal Commission for Protection Against Sanitary Risk, Serlin said.

Registration of new products by the agency is being completed within 60 days, on top of which the World Health Organization has recognized Cofepris is an agency of reference for other Latin American countries, such as Colombia, Chile and Ecuador.

As a result, launching new products that have been researched and developed in Mexico can be completed within shorter time frames, Serlin explained. He also pointed out that there is an economic spin-off ratio of 6:1; for every dollar invested in clinical research, there is $6 worth of economic development created by associated industries.

The company is predicting the launch in Mexico this year of four new products intended to address cardiac ailments, lung cancer and dermatological issues.

It expects a 5% increase in domestic sales this year, 2% ahead of the industry as a whole.

Serlin anticipates price increases for medications in the range of 3% during the year due to the peso’s fall in value against the dollar.

Internationally, Novartis led the industry in 2013 with sales of $57.9 billion. It is also the largest health care company in terms of market capitalization, which was about $280 billion as of last month.

Source: El Economista (sp)

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