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Pharmaceutical Pricing and Reimbursement Policies in Mexico

Listed author(s):
  • Pierre Moïse
  • Elizabeth Docteur

This paper examines aspects of the policy environment and market characteristics of Mexico's pharmaceutical sector, and assesses the degree to which Mexico has achieved certain policy goals. This paper questions the effectiveness of the maximum price regulation. It notes that retail prices for pharmaceuticals are relatively high, although proximity to the United States may have some influence. Although not wholly successful in containing overall drug expenditures, the federal government can claim some measure of success for the public sector market. A high reliance on out-of-pocket spending brings into question the sustainability of financing pharmaceuticals in Mexico. It also contributes to greater inequality, although a new health insurance scheme, the Seguro Popular, is addressing the latter with some success as it endeavours to provide coverage for the half of Mexico's population without health insurance. Finally, the paper acknowledges the government.s efforts in improving efficiency of expenditures and quality of care through new bioequivalency requirements for generics. However, an unintended side-effect of the loss of low cost, non-bioequivalent drugs may be higher average prices for pharmaceuticals. Le présent document examine certains aspects touchant l'environnement politique et les caractéristiques du marché du secteur pharmaceutique du Mexique, et évalue la mesure dans laquelle le Mexique a atteint certains objectifs politiques. Il met en doute l'efficacité de la réglementation sur les prix maximums et fait observer que les prix de détail des produits pharmaceutiques sont relativement élevés, mais que cette situation est peut-être due en partie à la proximité des États-Unis. Bien que le gouvernement fédéral n'ait pas totalement réussi à maîtriser les dépenses globales de médicaments, il peut revendiquer d'un certain succès en ce qui concerne le marché du secteur public. Un large recours aux versements directs amène à s'interroger sur la viabilité du financement des produits pharmaceutiques au Mexique. Un tel recours contribue également à un accroissement des inégalités, bien qu'un nouveau dispositif d'assurance maladie, le Seguro Popular, remédie dans une certaine mesure à ce problème en s'efforçant d'offrir une couverture maladie à la moitié de la population du Mexique qui n'est pas assurée. Enfin, le document fait état des efforts déployés par le gouvernement pour rationaliser les dépenses et améliorer la qualité des soins moyennant l'adoption de nouvelles dispositions en matière de bioéquivalence des médicaments génériques. Cela étant, la disparition des médicaments peu coûteux non bioéquivalents risque d'avoir pour effet involontaire une augmentation des prix moyens des produits pharmaceutiques.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Health Working Papers with number 25.

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Date of creation: 13 Feb 2007
Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaad:25-en
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