Cash Crisis Triggers Mexican Industry Revival. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 003 (1986)
(1986; 2 pages)


Dr. Mario Liebermann, Director-General of the Control of Inputs for Health for the Mexican Secretary of Health, was interviewed by the Essential Drugs Monitor. The interview focused on the revival of the Mexican pharmaceutical industry. Devaluation and a severe dollar shortage in the early 1980s led to a shortage of imported raw materials. This, in turn, led to a shortage of drugs and sparked national interest in increasing local production of pharmaceuticals. In 1982, only 20% of raw materials and intermediates were produced in Mexico; by 1985, this percentage increased to approximately 45%. In addition to a revival of the pharmaceutical industry, a National Drug Formulary was adopted for the entire Mexican health sector in 1984. The formulary included 329 generic drugs, a therapeutic guide, pharmacological procedures, and advice for doctors and prescribers. Liebermann stated that Mexico wanted both national and international laboratories to produce drugs for the country. He noted that the country is not completely self-reliant, but is developing a high level of pharmaceutical research. This increase in research and local production should result in lower drug costs. Liebermann also discussed a programme to make 50 essential drugs available over-the-counter without a prescription in hopes of educating people about rational self-medication. This educational programme will also include a media campaign. Additionally, the government planned to construct and expand the health sector to cover another 10 million people by the end of 1988. (Abstract by Flannery Bowman, 2013)

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