Farmapiel is dermatology focused pharmaceutical laboratory with more than 24 years of experience in the creation of quality products, including products for acne, dermatitis, hair loss, and wound healing, among many others. The company is aware that the Mexican market is extremely competitive as it has many players in this sector, but considers the country an attractive market because of its size and its opportunities for growth.
Exclusive interview with Ricardo Spindola, CEO of Farmapiel
Q: You have a long history working for major pharmaceutical companies in the dermatological field as well as with a major hospital. What made you decide to branch out on your own with Farmapiel?
A: My long-term ambition has always been to branch out as an entrepreneur. I have for the most part worked within the dermatological field throughout my career, although I had the honor to be selected as CEO for Medica Sur in 2011. Medica Sur was implementing a new strategy and I spent two and a half years there helping them realize that vision. The hospital is home to some of the best physicians in Mexico, even in Latin America, that are highly professional and ethical, and I was very proud to be a part of the team. However, recently the opportunity arose for me to acquire Farmapiel and the company met my target requirements in terms of size and therapeutic class, which was dermatology. There are very few pharmaceutical companies in Mexico that are truly local. Farmapiel was founded in 1991 in Mexico and was a family owned business until I acquired it in 2013. I am not venturing into the business entirely alone – I recently invited a private equity fund, EMX Capital, to hold a majority stake in the company and it has been productive to have them on board. This is the first stage in my growth plan for the long-term future of the company.
Q: How have evolving consumer and patient patterns changed the dermatological industry?
A: I think there are two critical factors in Mexico’s case when dealing with looking at the potential growth of dermatology products. One is that people’s health and habits have changed significantly compared to 20 years ago. On a global scale, people take better care of themselves, wanting to live a healthy life and look younger. This has also increased the life expectancy to an average of 75 to 80 years old. Increased life expectancy leads to a corresponding growth in dermatology and the industry has developed on a large scale in the last few years, with a major impact on the health sector. There are an infinite number of specialists today who are able to diagnose every kind of skin problem. In terms of skincare, people have more of a desire to protect and care for their skin, and so are more amenable to wearing sunscreen or using products to treat acne for example. The other factor benefitting the sector is the increase in economic purchasing power of Mexico. More and more people will have access to healthcare, including dermatology over the coming years. Both of these trends should have a positive impact on the growth of the dermatology sector in general.
Q: How dynamic is the current dermatological climate in Mexico and where is your main focus?
A: As with any other pharmaceutical business, it is extremely competitive and has many players. Mexico has always been an attractive market because of its size and its opportunities for growth. The competitive environment is tough in general terms, and dermatology is no exception. We believe however that the opportunities exist for companies that want to introduce differentiated solutions to add value for physicians and their patients. There are a lot of commercial activities in dermatology but what we are focusing on is therapeutic solutions. We see clinical dermatology as our key segment, not necessarily consumer products, but rather products that are required by physicians, dermatologists, and specialists. Plastic surgeons and medical professionals are a good example of our key customer base. Nevertheless, we do not limit ourselves and we do sometimes see potential opportunities to provide products for other sectors or niche activities. Thankfully our team is capable and expert enough to be able to be flexible. The innovation we have in this field is much more advanced today than it was ten years ago. Patients have access to better information, better products, and more comprehensive, integrated solutions. So while we focus on therapeutics, a degree of activity in the commercial arena is of course essential and companies need to be involved in promotional activities and distribution processes.
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 [email protected].