January 25

Distribuidora Levic: Creating a Distribution Network for Independent Pharmacies

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Distribuidora Levic may be a young company, but it has shown impressive growth in its 15 years. The company is currently dedicated to support independent pharmacies as it considers those pharmacies essential for the economy. Distribuidora Levic has large plans for growth as it currently aims to open more distribution centers and even export to Central America.

Exclusive interview with Víctor Soto Peralta, Director General of Distribuidora Levic

Q: What are the evolutions you have seen in the company’s fifteen year history?

A: Distribuidora Levic has grown quickly in tandem with the generics market, whose growth has grown between 15% and 25% per year for in the past decade. Distribuidora Levic now works all over Mexico, with six distribution centers and eight reorder centers. The market has also undergone significant transformations, pushing forward our growth. Among the most important changes in the market is the shift toward generics on the part of the Ministry of Health and COFEPRIS, allowing national pharmaceuticals to increase both their portfolio and their production. Since Mexico’s income per capita is not as high as other countries, the affordable generics have given patients access to these medications, to the point where generics are now widely accepted. Both the industry and the government have raised awareness concerning the safety and efficacy of generics, changing certain negative perceptions. Casa Saba’s bankruptcy has also broken up the distribution market among smaller companies, increasing the sales of generics to pharmacies unable to acquire patented drugs. Other changes to the market include the growth of pharmacy chains over the past ten years, which has affected independent pharmacies. Pharmacy chains are likely to continue to grow, so it is necessary to strengthen independent pharmacies, with the support of the government and the industry. Supermarkets are beginning to enter the market, introducing new brands of medication. As distributors, we have worked alongside independent pharmacies to improve their processes and systems in order to increase their profitability.

Q: How does Distribuidora Levic support independent pharmacies?

A: We are organizing events, workshops, and a project which we run in conjunction with UNEFARM. This program aims to bring accessible systems to pharmacies to help them administer their businesses. It is an integral, standardized process allowing pharmacies to administer all products bought and sold by the pharmacy. With COFEPRIS, we have a project intended to certify independent pharmacies and their employees, implemented through the National Council for the Normalization and Certification of Job Skills (CONOCER). Another program implemented in collaboration with UNEFARM is Principio Activo (Active Principle), developed to strengthen independent pharmacies against pharmacy chains. Through this program, independent pharmacies build a model similar to a franchise. Unlike franchises, however, participants do not require a strong initial investment. Active Principle aims to set up competitively-priced consulting rooms adjacent to pharmacies. We also support them to insert trained doctors at the point of sale. Our objective is to help independent pharmacies to widen portfolios, to lower prices by providing integral services, and to improve many different fields, including processes and customer service Our aim is to measure inputs, outputs, and expenses.

This post is an excerpt of Mexico Health Review 2015, to be released in September 2015. To pre-order your copy click here. Please direct all media enquiries to jc@mexicohealthreview.com.


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