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Published on : Oct 27, 2014

Latin American countries could provide a pivotal market for many Indian pharmaceutical companies, after a recent change in regulations regarding the sale of generic drugs took effect. IMS, a research firm, reports that the total opportunities in the Latin American pharmaceutical market are worth US$60 billion. The market is said to grow at 14% to 15% annually.

Mexico and Brazil, among other Latin American countries, have made compulsory the use of bio-equivalent drugs. The governments are phasing out all medicines that are termed as “similar”. Indian pharma companies sell a large number of bio-equivalent drugs both within and to the U.S. as well. This provides the firms with a large opportunity to expand into the Latin American market.

Bio-equivalent drugs are already a must in Indian and the U.S. markets, and India provides about 40% of the United States’ overall demand for generics. A bio-equivalent drug is a pharmacological replica of the innovator drug. This helps maintain similarities between the innovator drug as well as the replica, thereby increasing the efficiency of the bio-equivalent drug.

Most firms in the Latin American markets currently sell non-bioequivalent drugs termed as “Medicamento Similares”. Companies such as EMS and Hypermaracas, both native to the Latin American region, have to date focused on selling these similar drugs.

The director of Barclays Securities, Balaji Prasad, believes that the Indian companies could find vast potential in the sale of branded generics in the Latin American markets along with the U.S.

Indian pharma companies currently hold a minor 2% to 3% of the market of the Latin American market.