Medical and pharmaceutical services in Mexico’s new industrial policy

Medical and pharmaceutical services were included as one of the five priority sectors in Mexico‘s new industrial policy.

According to the Ministry of Economy, this sector registered an increase in Mexican exports of 11% in 2020 and 6.7% in 2021, at year-on-year rates.

In addition, medical and pharmaceutical services had an 86% increase in employment generated during the last five years and are critical to increase the welfare of the population.

To boost this sector, the Ministry of Economy set the goal of improving the patent system to facilitate the production of generic drugs, while respecting the commitments acquired with Mexico’s trading partners.

Another goal is to promote the medical equipment industry aimed at the new approach to health, based on prevention, prediction, participation and personalization.

As a third purpose, the government will promote the adoption of infrastructure to provide the population with intelligent healthcare systems.

Pharmaceutical services

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, large public and private hospitals in Mexico regularly seek the most modern and highly specialized medical devices.

Some medium and small private hospitals with limited budgets purchase used or refurbished equipment.

By law, public hospitals cannot purchase used or refurbished products.

On the other hand, the 103 medical schools throughout the country represent an additional market.

The most important are located at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), La Salle University, the Popular University of Puebla, the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN), the University of Guadalajara and the Army and Navy schools.

At the same time, Mexico is the eleventh largest pharmaceutical market in the world and the second largest in Latin America, after Brazil.

The pharmaceutical market in Mexico is divided into patented drugs, which represent 51% of the market in value, generics with 35%, and over-the-counter products with the remaining 14%.


The Ministry of Economy will also promote the development of entrepreneurship projects for the medical services, pharmaceutical and medical device sectors.

The Mexican government considers that the northwest and western regions have the most potential in this sector.

Due to China’s role as a global supplier of personal protective equipment, medical devices, antibiotics and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), China‘s reduced exports led to shortages of critical medical supplies in the United States and other countries.

In April 2022 officials from Mexico and the United States met to review key achievements of the High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED), address priority initiatives, and plan for the next meeting. The following activities were highlighted:

– Creation and follow-up to the Bilateral Working Group on Supply Chains.

– Virtual trade mission to Mexico for environmental technologies, organized by the USA.

– Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with technology companies to promote workforce development in our country.

– Partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to identify opportunities in the semiconductor sector.

– Advances for collaboration in the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors.

On April 20, 2022, Conacyt and IMSS signed a framework collaboration agreement to continue promoting basic and scientific research in health, especially in diseases with higher prevalence in Mexico and the development of vaccines, drugs and biopharmaceuticals, and medical devices of national manufacture that will be used by IMSS health care services.


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