HEALTHCARE: The right medicine

Jul 1, 2012

Latin America’s rapidly consolidating healthcare sector is poised to continue growing as the population ages and gets wealthier

By Karen Schwartz

Latin American’s healthcare industry is maturing fast as the region gets richer – and older.

Increasing affluence and an aging population are proving a powerful mix for the pharmaceuticals sector, which is undergoing a radical makeover through a wave of consolidation.

Interest and investment in the industry tends to focus on Brazil and Mexico: the former had by 2010 becomes the seventh leading nation worldwide in drug sales, while for the latter, pharmaceuticals is one of the fastest growing sectors, undergoing a 4.8% expansion in 2011. And the healthcare sector in both countries meanwhile has seen a surge in mergers and acquisitions as companies seek to expand their reach in high growth markets.

Brazilian pharmacies Droga Raia and Drogasil, for example, merged last August in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at 1.84 billion reis ($591 million) which created Raia Drogasil, the second largest drugstore company in Brazil...

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