Written by Rebecca Castrejón, Editor
Produced by Lucy Verde, Director of Projects at WDM Group-LATAM
Interviewee Carlos Abelleyra, CEO of Aspen Labs in Latin America (except Brazil) and Eduardo Sosa, General Manager of Aspen Labs Mexico
While Aspen Labs has maintained a sustained development under their own brands, the pharmaceutical company has reached their full potential through acquisitions and brand commercialization. One example was the purchase of Pfizer’s infant formula for Latin America in August 2013, including its pharmaceutical plant in Mexico; subsequently an acquisition of health products from Merck and critical care drugs from GlaxoSmithKline. The next portfolio purchase occurred in mid-2014, with Merck Sharp & Dohme feminine product line.
In an interview with the CEO of Aspen Labs in Mexico, Eduardo Sosa, he mentioned in detail their overall growth plans, highlighting the following:
1. To consolidate acquisitions in the regional market.
2. Increase regional market share.
3. Improve operational efficiency to maximize profitability.
"During 2016, we will be consolidating all acquisitions, particularly, by improving our market share," added Sosa. In addition, they seek to strengthen their infant formula products and Aspen Pharma prescription drugs.
"Our focus this year is in organic growth. We are participating more actively in medical conferences to maintain closeness with pediatricians and neonatologists, revealing our alternative formulas, which are the most similar to breast milk, "emphasized Carlos Abelleyra, CEO of Aspen Labs in Latin America (Spanish-speaking) and entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry.
In the medium term, the company will continue to expand its portfolio by reaching new public and private markets, as in the case of its next export to Australia; They also discussed future acquisitions both globally and in Latin America (excluding Brazil). "At the moment we are in the financial analysis period of a next acquisition in Argentina," added Abelleyra.
Innovating regional medicine
Aspen Labs supplies drugs for cardiovascular, metabolism, central nervous system, anti-inflammatory and analgesic diseases, among others. The company has established its credibility as pioneers in the fight against AIDS, by launching new medicine, and earned the trust of consumers, physicians, nurses, pharmacists and wholesalers; becoming a major player in the health sector.
Its competitiveness is notable for its sales force and manufacturing of tablets, capsules, sterile injectable oral contraceptives, nutritional products, lyophilized, cytotoxic, suppositories, liquids, antiretrovirals, semi-solid and active ingredients.
Under constant renovations of medical solutions, the company allocates part of its capital to research and development, hoping that by mid 2017, the Latin American market could enjoy new products in cardiology, infant and critical care.
"Today we have this package for infant formulas, which we will launch in the next 24 months. On the side of Pharma, we will draw the market for critical drug medicine and cardiology," said Sosa.
Aspen Labs Latin American CEO said: "We will be launching new solutions in some countries, this to complement our female care and cardiovascular health business units." Additionally, they will continue to work on alternatives for those mothers who are not able to produce breast milk, adding new formulas to its portfolio in this category, such objectives include:
1. Innovative formulas for breast milk reproduction during the baby's development.
2. New products intended for infant development during gestation and growth.
Providing higher quality solutions to the health industry
Aspen Labs portfolio lists more than therapeutic solutions, but innovations in OTC medications, nutritional supplements for the nervous system, new women's health and ophthalmologist products, etc.
Their quality control department integrates Pharma vigilance, which follows regulations such as SSA1-2002 NOM -220-SS, and a series of Standard Operating Procedures. This Department interacts with doctors, patients, research centers and health units to ensure safety.
Aspen Mexico’s CEO illustrated their methodology to ensure manufacturing quality: " We focus on ensuring the three Ps, which are the product, the process and the person. All equally important."
In terms of human management, Aspen Labs confirms that the greatest incentive in sales comes from the work of their staff; producing quality brings an added value to the portfolio. In addition, each employee is highly trained and updated with modern techniques.
"We are confident of the level of talent that is being developed in Mexico in the pharmaceutical industry," said Sosa. With this in mind, Aspen Labs noted that their Toluca factory in Mexico has the potential to supply product way beyond its national coverage and to the rest of Latin America (excluding Brazil).
This industrial capacity exceeds to the administrative area of Aspen Labs, a clear example is the talented Doctor Sosa, current leader of Aspen Mexico, and Carlos Abelleyra, a multifaceted entrepreneur who governs all operations in Latin America.
This 2015, Aspen Latin America is heavily investing in Aspen Centers of Excellence (ACE) in order to replicate best manufacturing practices them in every pharmaceutical plant In the region, concentrated in these three areas: commercial, operations and finance.
"The goal is to not only be more efficient, but to have the best practices in each country, and triggered faster and better results," said the CEO of Aspen Labs Latin America.
Aspen Labs suppliers, follow the company’s national and regional growth regulations, established guidelines, Aspen code of ethics and zero tolerance policies of lack of quality on the delivered material. From raw materials providers to manufacturing equipment, packaging, commercial services, health promotion materials, among many others, are partners in the pharmaceutical development of the company.
"We believe in internal development, we are confident that Mexico can continue to grow both domestically and with suppliers and business partners," said Sosa.
"We're not in countries like Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia, but for the moment we operate there through distributors," added Abelleyra. In reference to the internal supply chain he said: "In our supply chain we have a regional area that is part of the Center of Excellence in Operations."
During the current fiscal year, Aspen Labs aims to grow 56 percent versus the company’s last report, which means increasing sales to $2.100 billion pesos. They also hope to position themselves in the top 10 of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Mexico and the region by the year 2020.
"We will remain as leaders in the global health market, increasing quality at all levels of the company," said Sosa.
"We firmly believe that adding value requires full conviction, is not only to sell products, but integrating shareholder value, by having an important responsibility with our society," concluded Abelleyra.