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This week was a mixed one for the Mexican healthcare sector, as the country received 52.2 percent more in taxes from junk food but less in sugar taxes during the first 1Q18. Also, IMCO reported that the healthcare budget shrunk by 20 percent over the past six years and insurance complaints rose by 15 percent between 2016 and 2017. Novartis is also introducing more biosimilar medicines. In international news, Japanese Takeda sold its Chinese joint venture and a recent report indicated a sharp increase in biotherapeutic investment. In sadder news, scientists discover that young women are at a higher risk for lung cancer than young men.

Mexico’s second presidential debate, hosted on May 20, did not address healthcare but after recent controversy surrounding one candidate’s health, Ricardo Anaya called for all candidates to undergo a medical exam.

Abraham Franklin, Director General of Grupo Franklin, spoke to Mexico Health Review on the potential mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), which can convert rapidly into any tissue, have for the development of new treatments.

Now, jump into last week’s highlights:

 

National

Taxes on junk food amounted to MX$7.6 billion during the 1Q18, 52.2 percent more than last year. On the other hand, taxes on sugar drinks were 2.3 percent lower during the first three months of 2018, in comparison to 2017, with a total of MX$5.7 billion.

Novartis’ generics and biosimilar division, Sandoz, announced it will introduce to Mexico its biosimilar portfolio starting in 2019.

The Mexican Institute of Competitiveness (IMCO) reported that during the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto the healthcare budget dropped by 20 percent. The institute warned of a health crisis were this trend to continue.

The Federal Commission for the Protection and Defense of Financial Services Users (CONDUSEF) reported that insurance complaints rose by 15 percent between 2016 and 2017. Of those, 38 percent were complaints about life insurance and 6 percent about healthcare policies.

 

International

Takeda prepares to acquire Shire with an internal restructuring, which for now requires the Japanese pharmaceutical to sell its joint venture with Chinese Guangdong Techpool Bio-Pharma Company for US$280 million.

During the first five months of 2018, investors allocated more money to biotherapeutic companies than in all of 2017.

A recent analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine discovered a higher incidence of lung cancer in young women in comparison to young men.

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