KAREL J. FUCIKOVSKY

Mexico 2020 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | INTERVIEW

Pierre Fabre is committed to bringing novel treatments that offer enhanced therapeutic alternatives and increase life expectancy.

Karel J. Fucikovsky
BIOGRAPHY

Karel J. Fucikovsky is the General Director of Pierre Fabre Médicament LATAM, a position he has held for more than five years. He has more than 25 years of experience working for transnational pharmaceutical companies in Mexico and Latam. He started as sales representative and later assumed key positions in the marketing, finance, productivity, and business development departments.

What role does Mexico play in Pierre Fabre's international strategy?
For many years now, Mexico has been one of the development pillars for Pierre Fabre. Our Mexican operations will certainly continue to grow in the group's internal rankings, especially with the introduction of a new oncology portfolio in Mexico and Latin America. The company has two core businesses: dermo-cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. The dermatology division is separate but it has strong synergies with our pharmaceutical division. Notably, we are working on an internal transformation plan that will boost our joint capabilities further. The plan includes digitalization, IT, logistics, R&D, and stronger financial discipline. All this will further help us in building a solid future. Once this transformation plan has been executed, we will shift more of our focus to patients and consumers.

How important is oncology for the company?
Oncology remains paramount in the company's mid- and long-term strategy. We are committed to being a key player in this market, bringing novel treatments that will offer enhanced therapeutic alternatives for patients. Our goal is to not only improve their quality of life but increase life expectancy with lesser side effects. At Pierre Fabre, our core philosophy is that every time we take care of a person, we contribute to build a better world.

What is your perception of the legal framework for healthcare in Mexico?
The situation of the healthcare system in Mexico still remains somehow unpredictable and undefined. The new government brought in a great deal of disruption, so I am optimistic and hope that this first year of disruption will be the starting point for new and improved structures, organizations, and processes. We remain on hold and expect to see if the government will be able to consolidate the national healthcare system, improve the regulatory and access capabilities, and consider innovation as one of the key development poles. The question remains on how they will untangle and finance all the issues in order to avoid a shortage of products.

What is your distribution strategy in Mexico?
We distribute our pharmaceuticals through large wholesalers. In the retail segment, more and more regional mid-sized distributors will gain share and robust pharmacy chains will grow and expand further. As a result, independent pharmacies will suffer. Our strategy is to continue with our current distribution partnership model, but as the entire setting will surely evolve in the next five years, we will follow new trends and remain strongly committed to our distribution partners and grow with them, especially in the e-commerce arena. The challenge overall, and our core responsibility, is to make sure that patients and consumers can easily access our products at the best price.

What main trends in the healthcare industry are you keeping track of?
Governments and pharmaceutical companies should work together to prevent tropical diseases that can be avoided or minimized. In that light, a prevention system should be classified as a national priority. Moreover, Mexico and other regional countries have an aging population, so we must continue to invest in R&D, technology, genomics, and robotics.

What countries are you prioritizing in Latam?
Our priorities remain Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. We are planning to work with our strategic partners to expand into Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Ecuador.

What are your main goals for 2020?
In Latin America, one of our main goals is to roll out our new portfolio for oncology, especially in Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico. 2020 will also be the year of consolidation with strong partnerships in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. At the same time, we will continue to invest, build, and grow with our current portfolios across Central America. The next few years in Latin America will be challenging, as unpredictability and volatility will be the main drivers of the market. In light of that, it is crucial that we remain financial and ethically
disciplined.