The coronavirus has propelled Mexican medical industry production to new heights to supply much-needed equipment.
The leadership of the Mexican Association of Innovative Medical Device Industries (AMID) has recently reported that production by companies in the country’s robust, diversified, and highly developed health care product industry has multiplied by a factor of four.
According to Fernando Oliveros, president of AMID, companies that are located in Mexico have met the challenge of the global pandemic by significantly increasing their installed capacity and making new products in order to handle the increased demand for their products.
The largest share of Mexican medical industry production is destined for consumers in the United States. In addition to making sales to its northern neighbor, Mexican made medical products are also consumed domestically, as well as throughout Latin America as a whole.
AMID is an organization that has a membership that is comprised of 34 companies that employ approximately 140,000 workers in the aggregate. These firms are located throughout the country.
Recently AMID engaged Mexico’s current President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in order to urge him to increase government expenditures on Mexican medical industry goods. His country’s spending in the healthcare sector has seen a decrease of almost 8% over the last year. This has had a proportionate effect on the profitability and income of AMID associated companies.
Despite the current set of circumstances, the president of the Mexican Association of Innovative Medical Device Industries, Fernando Oliveros, maintains that the focus of Mexican medical industry production should be increased efficiency and quality.
Although Mexico is the largest exporter of medical devices in Latin America and the eighth largest in the world, it ranks 45th in the consumption of healthcare devices. This is in spite of the fact that, in terms of size, the Mexican economy is ranked 14th globally. Mexican medical industry production has increased by 7.9% over a period of the last 10 years.
The disparity between exports and consumption is explained by the fact that the lion’s share of Mexican medical industry production is manufactured to be sold in overseas markets.
Mexico makes ventilators
In response to global demand, Mexican medical device production now includes the manufacture of much-needed ventilators. These life-saving machines enable patients that have been hard hit with the coronavirus to breathe effectively.
As of now, there are three companies that are located in the city of Tijuana in the state of Baja California that produce the machines. According to Flavio Olivieri, an economic development specialist and director of the Cali Baja Bi-National Mega-Region, a cross-border business group, the companies that are producing ventilators in Tijuana are able to consider donating a percentage of the respirators that they manufacture for U.S. customers to Mexico’s local and state governments.
According to Olivieri, the regional approach has been “to leverage local capabilities of medium-sized manufacturing contract manufacturing companies in Tijuana to produce a low-cost respirator for the export market and for regional needs.”
In addition to the demand for ventilators, Mexican medical device producers in Tijuana and Baja California has seen a spike in orders for equipment such as gowns, masks, and other personal protective equipment (PPP).
In order to increase the manufacture of these and other medical goods, manufacturers in Mexico are working with their partners in Latin America to meet the market’s needs. For example, most medical devices that are produced in Baja California are sent to Costa Rica to be sterilized there and then shipped back before being sold. Given current conditions, however, two companies in Baja California are changing their operations to have the capacity to sterilize products locally.
Luis Hernandez, the current president Baja California chapter of the Mexican Maquiladora and Export Industry Association (INDEX), has stated that medical device manufacturers operating in Mexico need assistance from the United States to encourage Mexican authorities to expand their operations in a timely manner. Presently, it is difficult to do this due to the need to comply with rules and regulations and bureaucratic paperwork.
For its part, AMID is working closely with Mexico’s Secretariat of the Economy and its Ministry of Health in an effort to boost Mexican medical industry production by attracting more foreign direct investment to the sector.