The stuffed animals of Dr. Simi, the icon of Farmacias Similares, have gone around the world and have become popular after being launched at concerts by different bands and singers. While this new tradition of throwing ‘Simi stuffed animals’ is getting stronger, so is a business that started in Mexico in 1997, with a target market: generics.
These types of medicines, also known as off-patent, have the same active ingredients, concentrations and dosages as brand-name medicines, but they are cheaper for consumers, since any pharmaceutical laboratory can manufacture and market them.
Farmacias Similares today is the leader in the segment. “In 2015 we had a 10% share of the generic market and by the end of 2022 we will be fighting to have close to 75% of the market ,” said Víctor González Herrera, vice president of Farmacias Similares.
The company has a laboratory with three production lines. However, the medicines that are manufactured there represent only 15% of the inventory of pharmacies, while the rest is acquired from national and international companies.
The market grew and currently the Similar Pharmacies have 8,000 branches, with which they have obtained a slice of a market that in Mexico had a value of 6,200 million in 2020 and that will reach 7,890 million in 2025, with a compound annual growth rate ( CAGR) of 4.9%, according to Research and Markets.
“The pandemic did not affect us, on the contrary, it was when we saw the opportunity for growth and a project was reactivated that tries to bring pharmacies closer (to the population). We analyzed where we did not have a presence, we installed new branches there, but respecting a ‘protected area’ for the franchisee”, declares Víctor González Herrera, vice president of Farmacias Similares.
The company will maintain its growth rate and expects to close the year with 8,093 pharmacies. The manager did not specify whether these new units are franchised or corporate, but with them the company seeks to reach new consumer niches.
The executive tells Expansión that, although initially the focus was to have branches in popular areas, the company has expanded its coverage to places with a greater commercial flow, also responding to the demand of consumers with greater purchasing power for medical care. of first level and of medicines.
Dr. Simi’s company, like his stuffed animal, has not stayed in Mexico, and has a presence in Guatemala, Chile, Colombia, Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina.
The company maintains its commitment to keeping prices low, even González Herrera comments that they have absorbed part of the inflationary rises, without revealing the percentage that has been passed on to consumers. Meanwhile, they adjust the strategy to meet the demand of some categories that grew during the pandemic.
“We opened new lines of products, especially related to prevention, such as supplements or vitamins, which were very popular,” said the vice president of Similar Pharmacies.
Today, its best-selling product is a medicine for stomach irritation.
With information from Gabriela Lara