Pharmaceuticals companies are targeting Mexico with price wars that threaten the health system and may have broader implications for the U.S. and global health.
The U.K.’s Pharmaceutical Services Association (PSA) said on Tuesday that drug companies are threatening to stop delivering medicines in the country if they cannot get Mexico to allow them to continue selling it.
Mexico’s pharmaceutical market, which accounts for roughly a quarter of the country’s $1.2 trillion GDP, is the third-largest in the world, after China and South Korea.
The cartel is responsible for some of the world’s deadliest and most expensive drug-related deaths, and the cartel’s control over its own drug supply has forced the U,S., and other countries to shift toward smaller-scale, more expensive drugs.
The cartels have also tried to use the United States’ large pharmaceutical market as a lever to control its own supply chains.
In November, the U and European Union agreed to an unprecedented $2.3 billion in funding to tackle a massive drug shortage.
The money will support the development of generic drugs that can be used by consumers and governments in many parts of the globe.
The cartels have pushed for similar funding to cover the costs of the pandemic that ravaged the country in 2016.
Pharmaceutical companies have been increasingly concerned that their supply chains in the United Sates, where they are dominant, will be disrupted if they are forced to shift their business away from Mexico.
In a letter sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday, the PSA said it was “unable to predict how the government will proceed in negotiating with the Mexican government.”
“The PSA believes that it is in the best interest of all parties to continue to work with the US government to address the current crisis,” the PSAs letter reads.
“It is our understanding that this has already begun.”
Mexico’s pharmaceutical industry is the biggest in the Americas, with about 15% of the global market.
It has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, which killed more than 4,700 people and infected about 8 million, as well as by an outbreak in neighboring Peru that has forced millions of people to flee their homes.