With more than 50 years of history, Pierre Fabre has a strong background on pharmaceutics and dermo-cosmetics. The company started as a pharmacy and is now a multinational company present in over 130 countries. Pierre Fabre currently focuses on innovation and thus invests strongly in R&D.
Exclusive interview with Karel Fucikovsky, Director General Mexico and Central America of Pierre Fabre Médicament
Q: Which markets does Pierre Fabre specifically target and how do you divide your two core business lines?
A: To date Pierre Fabre splits its two business lines in a deployed concept described as ‘From Health to Beauty’. The two companies of the group are Pierre Fabre Dermocosmetics and Pierre Fabre Médicament. Our concerns are divided between health (45%) and beauty (55%). Both Pierre Fabre Dermocosmetics and Médicament offer leading products in their respective sectors, and we are strong in gynecology, angiology, and general medicine, with one of our most distinguished products Navelbine Oral prescribed for patients suffering breast and lung cancer. We distinguish ourselves from other companies by working closely with our physicians to provide support on continuous medical education. Locally, we emphasize business development, so that we stand out as partner of choice for new entrepreneurial pharmaceutical companies seeking to enter the Mexican pharmaceutical market, as well as established companies requiring additional expertise and access capabilities. We have also worked with key leaders in the field of oncology to introduce a new PFM molecule to treat bladder cancer. We believe in innovation, invest heavily in R&D, and will continue to seek the support of legal and regulatory entities to ensure that innovation in pharmaceuticals will be available for the benefit of patients.
Q: What opportunities do you see in the Mexican dermocosmetic market?
A: The young dermocosmetic industry is not the only therapeutic sector rich in opportunities. Today there are more players in the sector, with a consumer base more aware of the treatment, brands, and access options, which generates more room for competition. The dermocosmetic market is attractive from a business perspective, as the typical consumer in this sector has a more voracious appetite for novel and ethical products and services. One challenge is to communicate with our consumers in an ethical and transparent way, while simultaneously listening to feedback. The process depends on direct and digital marketing, customer relations management, database marketing, and person-to-person promotion at points of sale. This ensures product access at all points in the trade chain between our company and our distribution partners.
Q: Does Pierre Fabre share the current focus on orphan and specialized drug development?
A: We have commercialized an orphan drug to support bone marrow transplants to adult and pediatric patients. We also recently signed a local license agreement with Ferring Pharmaceuticals for the launch and distribution of tranexamic acid, a gynecological product already approved by COFEPRIS. However, a focus on highly specialized products and biopharmaceuticals is premature due to access constrictions and budget issues. That said, R&D investment for companies like Pierre Fabre is key to our long-term innovation strategies. As such, we continue to invest in oncology solutions, however I expect companies to reduce R&D budgets due to access limitations and patent protection losses. The Ministry of Health and COFEPRIS have significantly improved approval processes for innovation drugs, but access to the institutional market, remains a concern. The time it takes for a new molecule to reach the market from the laboratory stands at almost four-and-a-half years, longer than in other Latin American countries.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.