Market penetration of generic drugs in Mexico and Brazil

Generics/General | Posted 27/04/2023 post-comment0 Post your comment

Generic drugs represent a great advance both in Brazil and Mexico, as they allow the population to access affordable, safe and effective treatments.

30 MD001974

Pharmaceutical industry specialists in Mexico agree that generic medications currently represent an alternative to drug shortages, as they account for 65% of the total market.

The sale of generics is what generated the greatest growth during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico [1].

The lack of a state policy has led Mexico to become dependent on international suppliers such as China and India, who not only produce pharmaceutical active components (APIs), but also their precursors. This has created difficulties in the supply of medications, as 95% of the APIs are imported. Mexico has been warning for some time about the need to make investments and carry out appropriate public policies to ensure their own production and supply of medications.

On the other hand, in Brazil, generic drugs represent 35.44% of the drugs sold in the country, generating significant savings for consumers. They also account for 73.38% of the drugs used for hypertension, 78.66% for cholesterol, 71.85% for anxiety and 64.66% for depression.

The Brazilian pharmaceutical market has undergone many changes since the introduction of generic drug legislation in 1999 [2]. 

Among the 20 most prescribed drugs in the country, 15 were found in their generic version, such as amoxicillin, azithromycin, losartan, escitalopram, cephalexin and simvastatin, among others. In total, in Brazil, 96 pharmaceutical companies market generics that are up to 35% cheaper than reference drugs, and they are effective in treating 90% of the prevalent diseases among the Brazilian population.

The difference in generic drug penetration between Mexico and Brazil is truly significant. With a penetration rate of 65%, Mexico has much greater acceptance of generic drugs than Brazil, where the penetration rate is only 35.44%.

Overall, the contrast in generic drug penetration between Mexico and Brazil highlights the importance of government policies, regulations and public awareness campaigns to promote the use of affordable and effective generic drugs.

Generic drugs are a powerful tool to support health and have been shown to be beneficial for both Mexican and Brazilian society.

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1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Use of generics increases during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2023 Apr 27]. Available from:
2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. The generics market in Brazil []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2023 Apr 27]. Available from:

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