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EF: Could you paint a picture of how the market has changed during your tenure as CEO in the region and how Galderma has evolved?
CD: The dermatological market in Mexico has continued to evolve year after year, and Galderma has been part of this story. We cater to a dermatological market still under-penetrated with still opportunities to broaden access across the country, especially in small cities. Important to highlight that the ratio of dermatologists vs. our population is very high: approx.One dermatologist per every 50,000 people. Fortunately, the number of derm and aesthetic clinics is rapidly expanding. New companies are entering these fields, and the potential for growth is high.
We have evolved to become a strong dermatological player becoming the #1 independent dermatology company not only in Mexico but the world.
EF: What does 2023 have in store for Galderma, and what are you most excited about?
CD: We have had accelerated growth year by year. Our business tripled from 2015 to 2022, and we grew by 30% last year. It is lightning-fast growth for the pharma industry. We aim to grow and achieve at a higher level this year. Out of our three business units, aesthetics and dermo-cosmetic are the fastest-growing. Mexico is an attractive region for many multinationals.
This unprecedented growth would not be possible without a transformation. Over the last three years, our sales doubled in size. We´ve increased the number of sales representatives, expanded coverage and reach, and are eager to witness our growth. Our three business units have experienced sustained profitable growth. Prescription medicine, within our DNA and heritage, had continued to grow above the market year after year as well as our fast-growing dermo-cosmetic business unit led by Cetaphil as well as our stellar aesthetic business with our leading brands Dysport, Restylane, and Sculptra,
In prescription medicines, we became the market leader in dermatology six years ago, and since then, we have not only defended but strengthened our market position. Our strong heritage in dermatology and our integrated dermatology approach set us apart from the rest of the other players in the aesthetics and derma-cosmetic space.
EF: How do you broaden access in Mexico? Do you work with communities or physicians?
CD: Despite our skin being the largest organ, in most LATAM countries, dermatology is not reimbursed by governments´ health care plans; thus, needs often go untreated as it is considered a luxury. Yet people do not properly take care of their skin, and part of this comes down to education. Educating consumers on treating and caring for their skin is essential. Skin awareness and education are growing at a rapid pace due to the efforts of the industry.
As a result, we work closely with the different Mexican dermatologic associations offering continuous medical education and support through AMD (Academia Mexicana de Dermatología), FMD (Fundación Mexicana para la Dermatología, SMD (Sociedad Mexicana de Dermatología) and CILAD (Colegio Ibero-Latinoamericano de Dermatologia). As part of CILAD´s yearly social responsibility program, PRAMED, each year, they take dermatologic services to remote areas with low access to support those in need. Galderma is supportive of this initiative to help bring dermatology to people who need it the most.
EF: How do you anticipate the impact of technology like the FACE App by Galderma in Mexico, and what else can we expect from these innovative technologies from Galderma in the future?
CD: Our team in Mexico participated in the pilot for the development of this tool alongside Galderma teams, aesthetic doctors, healthcare professionals, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons to produce this cutting-edge augmented reality tool powered by artificial intelligence. It was exhilarating to see doctors’ reactions to the device at work. Several of the barriers we have in the aesthetic business are the fears and the penetration rate among consumers. With FACE App, we can simulate a realistic look before treatments. It is a very innovative tool, and we plan to roll it out in Mexico this year. We are in the process of fine-tuning all the legal and regulatory requirements for the launch. The future has arrived.
EF: How do you assess Mexico’s readiness to adopt FACE App and the latest technologies? Do you think Mexico is ready?
CD: The adoption rate and rollout of the latest technologies in Mexico by HCPs are very high. Today, most clinics own the latest and cutting-edge technologies. FACE App by Galderma will be a great, friendly, and intuitive tool to support HCPs and users for aesthetic treatments
EF: Do you think Mexico has the potential to become an innovation hub for Latin America?
CD: Mexico remains a key emerging market with high potential to support and lead innovation programs across companies. Galderma is ready to support this trend. Year after year, Mexico's dermatologists, aesthetic doctors, and plastic surgeons adopt innovations quickly.
For example, at this year’s global congress IMCAS help in Paris in January, out of the 14,000+ HCPs present, Mexico was amongst the top countries participating in the event. Mexican HCPs and the industry invest in keeping them up-to-date with the latest technologies for aesthetic, derma, and plastic surgery procedures. HCPs in Mexico adopt and invest in technologies without much hesitation. The proximity to the US and the increase of medical tourism have also contributed to this fact. The high growth of clinics around border cities is due to the innovation and quality of service provided.
EF: How do you anticipate the industry’s shift toward precision and personalized medicine across your three business units? How is Galderma creating more personalized future treatments?
CD: Personalized treatments are the name of the game. Our purpose is to advance dermatology for every skin story because we understand that each individual has a different need. Every skin type has its specific needs. Using our knowledge, brands, and techniques, we train HCPs to satisfy personalized needs in our three business units. We can easily initiate a discussion with dermatologists given our background of over 40+ years rooted in dermatology. Our vast and complete portfolio allows HCPs to create personalized treatment plans for patients and consumers.
For example, Galderma recently launched a revolutionary retinoid for better skin quality in Mexico, the latest retinoid in the market after 20 years, and the first country in LATAM to launch it. AKLIEF is the only formula in the world that delivers the most precise retinoid compound in an elegant vehicle for young adult females with acne. It was launched in October of last year, and the results have been phenomenal, exceeding our expectations. Dermatologists have adopted AKLIEF rapidly because of its innovation.
Also, with CETAPHIL, Galderma has become the most prescribed dermo-cosmetic brand by dermatologists in Mexico for sensitive skin, and in Aesthetics, we provide personalized solutions through HIT (Holistic Individualized Treatments),
EF: If you had to create your own start-up company tomorrow in the Mexican healthcare sector, what would you make and why?
CD: Penetration of dermatologists and aesthetic treatment clinics in Mexico remains low; thus, the opportunity is high. A great country to benchmark is Brazil where, not only the number of dermatologists is much higher than in Mexico, but also the number of clinics which have rapidly expanded. In Brazil, private equity funds have invested aggressively in buying clinics with 300-700 outlets. In Mexico, although growing very fast, the gap is still significant. The potential for growth, investment, and innovation is huge. National and multinational companies are already looking at this opportunity and planning to establish it. There are opportunities to democratize dermatology and aesthetic treatments to reach more people and make them more accessible to the whole population.
EF: If you had to create a roadmap to the future and you had to put your three base pillars, what would they be?
CD: I have to start with people as the #1 and most important pillar. If you have an engaged and motivated team, anything is doable and possible. Team engagement with the right people aligned with common objectives, a winning culture, trust, and a great working atmosphere has been our winning formula. I have been blessed to work with my team, and they are the ones responsible for Galderma´s extraordinary performance in Mexico. Everyone knows what is expected from them and what they need to deliver.
The second pillar is to continue investing in R&D, which leads to our innovation, the only way to survive in today´s rapidly changing world. Innovation creates room for growth.
Finally, for Galderma, creating a strong access strategy will be key given our upcoming biologic launch, currently in Phase-3 study: Nemolizumab. It is a big step forward for Galderma; thus, understanding, mastering, and managing market access will be key.
EF: Do you have any final message you would like to give our readers, or anything we did not chat on that is important?
CD: This is an exciting time for Galderma. There is much attention on Galderma with the innovations and future pipeline. We are a premium, fast-growing company that is growing above the market. Galderma is the place to be at. We are an agile, dynamic, fast-paced organization teeming with opportunities. We are in a growth mode, where we action all the opportunities available. Given the increased number of new positions and new hires in the company, the challenge is getting our new colleagues to hit the ground running, learn our policies and brands, and meet everyone. Everyone has a role to play, and we strive to keep everyone engaged. We see the value in everyone that works for us, which is why they align with the company's values and mission. At the last convention, we brought everyone from the company.