The Latin American (LA) pharmaceutical industry has played an outstanding role in the region during recent decades, with firms in many LA countries dating back almost a century. Today, the majority of these industrial plants meet current World Health Organization (WHO) standards. Around 350 facilities supply an average of 60 per cent of the medicines consumed in the region and are also the main supplier for governments’ purchases. In Chile, for example, the national industry supplies 90 per cent of government purchases.1 In Mexico, the public-sector market is basically dominated by national companies. Government purchases represent 50 per cent of the total market in unit sales but only 17.7 per cent in value.2