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Government palace of Nuevo León in Monterrey Mexico

Featured image: Photo by Robbie Herrera on Unsplash

Mexico: the huge potential of its Consumer Healthcare and Rx market 

Mexico is one of the most attractive Emerging Markets in the world. Geographically, it lies in Latin America, which contains numerous Emerging Markets. Yet this one is so significant that Mexican Consumer Healthcare and Rx industry deserves particular attention.

The Mexican Self-medication and prescription Market

During the last couple of years, Mexico has grown to be one of the leading producers of consumer healthcare and Rx products in the Americas as well as the main exporter of OTC and pharma products to Europe and the USA in Latin America.

The Mexican pharmaceutical market is the second-largest Latin American market after Brazil and it accounts for 0,5% of the country’s GDP. Mexico’s OTC and prescription market has seen steady growth in the past decade and is projected to reach over USD 32,4 Billion ex-factory in 2035.

These high growth rates are mainly attributable to an aging population, a growing middle class, a stable business environment as well as improved access to health care services that increases the consumer’s demand for OTC and pharma products. Moreover, the government is currently transforming the national health care model to focus on disease prevention due to a noticeable epidemiological transition from communicable to chronic degenerative diseases in Mexico.

The Mexican Healthcare system

Mexico provides an outstanding example of what can be achieved through the high-level political commitment.

There are three major institutions in the Mexican healthcare system:

  1. The Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS): This is the largest social security institution in Latin America. It covers all formal workers in the private sector.
  1. The Institute of Health and Social Services: It covers all government workers and represents around 10% of the total population.
  1. “Seguro Popular” was created as a type of public insurance scheme to provide health service coverage for Mexicans not affiliated with any social security institution. This insurance scheme has been the main driver for increased public health coverage, and the government recently pledged that approximately 80% of state-purchased medicines should be comprised entirely of generic drugs.

The improvements of the regulatory environment as well as the increase in foreign direct investment make Mexico’s consumer healthcare and pharma market more attractive to multinational drug makers.

Market Regulations

In recent years the market has been more strictly regulated, and new regulations were implemented. 

A change of presidency brought to the signing of the agreement with the United Nations Office for Project Services – UNOPS, to entrust it with the management of the consolidated purchase of medicines and medical supplies for the period 2021-2024. The agreement covers the entire Consumer Healthcare sector, but there would be only one government institution – the National Institute of Health for Wellbeing (INSABI) able to coordinate the consolidated purchase of medicine together with UNOPS.

It is necessary to mention that Mexico works the same way as European countries: Medicines are supplied to pharmacies by 2-3 major wholesalers. Moreover, the role of wholesalers in the Mexican OTC and pharma market has been gradually reduced, and the wholesalers’ functions are being taken over partly by the growing pharmacy chains.

The Mexican pharmacy business attracts more and more foreign investors. And those who enter the Mexican consumer health and Rx Market with care and local knowledge will be the most successful players in one of the world’s largest economies.

Chameleon Pharma Consulting Group

has a long-standing network and has extensive experience based on many projects in Mexico. We operate in various global industry segments, such as Consumer Health Care, Medical Devices, Rx, OTC and Cosmetics. We are happy to help you with your international strategy and are here to assist you with Regulatory topics, GMP Certificates, and Market Entry.

The Mexican OTC and pharma market in 2035

USD 32,36 Billion

OTC and pharma market size, ex-factory


OTC and pharma market growth

Mexico in numbers

Total population


Population growth

Birth rate

Mortality rate

Life expectancy

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