Go Back Up

back to blog

Starting a Pharma Business in Latin America

Corporate Services • Dec 7, 2023 1:08:17 AM • Written by: Ongresso - Business Beyond Border

The pharmaceutical industry in Latin America has been experiencing significant growth, driven by an increasing demand for healthcare, advancements and devlopment in medical research. Setting up a pharmaceutical company in this dynamic region can be a rewarding option, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Explore together the key steps and considerations for establishing a pharmaceutical company in Latin America.


1. Regulatory Compliance Environment

2. Market Analysis and Entry Strategy

3. Building Local Partnerships

4. Investing in Research and Development

5. Quality Assurance and Supply Chain Management

6. Employee Training and Cultural Sensitivity


Regulatory Compliance Environment

One of the first and most crucial steps in setting up a pharmaceutical company in Latin America is to understand the complex regulatory environment. Each country in the region has its own set of regulations governing the pharmaceutical industry, and compliance is non-negotiable. It is imperative to conduct a thorough regulatory analysis to ensure that your company adheres to the local laws and standards.

Applying to regulatory standards involves obtaining the necessary licenses and approvals from health authorities. This often includes submitting detailed documentation on the safety, efficacy, and quality of pharmaceutical products. Although regulations are different in each territory, the best way to obtain accurate, up-to-date information and to ensure that all processes are completed successfully is working closely with regulatory affairs experts who are well-versed in the local requirements is essential for a smooth approval process.

Market Analysis and Entry Strategy

Conducting a proper market research and analysis is crucial for identifying opportunities and challenges specific to each Latin American country. Factors such as the prevalence of diseases, healthcare infrastructure and reforms, and the competitive landscape should be carefully evaluated. Additionally, understanding the cultural nuances and patient preferences in each market is vital for tailoring your products and marketing strategies effectively.

Developing a solid entry strategy is equally important. Consider whether you want to establish a drug manufacturing facility, collaborate with local distributors, or engage in partnerships with existing pharmaceutical companies. Each approach comes with its own set of advantages and risks, and the choice should align with your long-term business goals.

Talking about supply chain management for pharmaceutical industry in Latin America, Farmacias del Ahorro is a great company example. They succesful optimize supply chain logistics for efficient drug distribution in the Aztec country. Nowadays, this pharmacy is one of the largest pharmacy chains in Mexico, and it has successfully leveraged supply chain management to improve its operations and enhance drug distribution across the country.

The company has implemented various initiatives to optimize its supply chain, resulting in significant improvements in efficiency, cost savings, and customer satisfaction.

Among other strategies, they implemented:

  • Centralized Distribution Center
  • Warehouse Management System (WMS)
  • Transportation Management System (TMS)

Is well know that many pharmaceutical giants are betting more and more on Latin America. These companies are obtaining reduced costs, improved efficiency, enhanced customer satisfaction.

Recommend lecture: Roche Poured $240 Million into Colombia. Established a Cutting-edge Distribution Center

Building Local Partnerships

Establishing strong local partnerships is key to build up a business in the pharmaceutical industry in Latin America successfully. Collaborating with local distributors, healthcare providers, and research institutions can provide valuable insights into the market and facilitate smoother operations. Building relationships with key opinion leaders and healthcare professionals is also essential for gaining trust and credibility in the local healthcare ecosystem.

Ongresso pharma

Investing in Research and Development

The pharmaceutical industry is inherently research-intensive, and investing in research and development (R&D)  and biotechnology is critical for staying competitive. Latin America offers unique opportunities for conducting clinical trials, given its diverse population and range of healthcare challenges. Engaging in collaborative research projects with local institutions can not only contribute to scientific advancements but also help in gaining regulatory support for your products.

Quality Assurance and Supply Chain Management

Ensuring the quality of pharmaceutical products is paramount in the industry. Implementing robust quality control measures is not only a regulatory requirement but also a way to build trust among healthcare professionals and patients. Developing a comprehensive supply chain management system is equally important for maintaining a seamless flow of raw materials and finished products.


Employee Training and Cultural Sensitivity

Building a skilled and culturally sensitive workforce is crucial for the success of your pharmaceutical venture in Latin America. Providing training on local regulations, industry practices, and cultural nuances will enable your employees to navigate the complexities of the market effectively. Moreover, fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace will contribute to a better understanding of the local context and enhance your company's reputation.


Setting up a pharmaceutical company in Latin America requires careful planning, a deep understanding of the regulatory landscape, and a commitment to building strong local partnerships. While the challenges may be significant, the potential rewards in terms of market growth and impact on healthcare can make it a highly fulfilling venture. As an experienced consulting partner for firms in the pharmaceutical industry willing to expand their business activities to Latin America, Ongresso offers a comprehensive guidance to setting up a company in various countries. Our experts count on valuable networks in Latin America and therefore assist our partner in market research, tax advisory, company formation and in finding the suitable personal resources. By combining regulatory compliance, market analysis, strategic partnerships, and a commitment to quality, your pharmaceutical company can thrive in the dynamic and evolving landscape of Latin America. 


Contact us Today for a Free Consultation!

Ongresso - Business Beyond Border

We assist your company with successfully establishing and growing your operations in Latin America.