The fuzzy line between needs, coverage, and excess in the Mexican Formulary List: An example of qualitative market width analysis

Israel Rico-Alba, Albert Figueras

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: To assess the rationality of the Mexican Formulary List (MEX-LIST). Methods: MEX-LIST was compared with the World Health Organization Essential Medicines List (WHO-LIST) to identify drugs classified as unmet needs. For the MEX-LIST rationality evaluation, the assessment of a non-sponsored, systematic and unbiased source (Prescrire Journal) was used for medicines not listed in WHO-LIST. The rating scale of Prescrire classifies medicines as Bravo, Real Advance, Offers an Advance, Possibly Helpful, Nothing New (NN), Judgment Reserved (JR), or Not Acceptable (NA) depending on their comparative therapeutic value. The NN, JR, and NA categories of medicines are further classified as non-added value. Results: The MEX-LIST contains 771 medicines, which is 2.4-fold more than the WHO-LIST (n = 321). Up to 236 medicines in the MEX-LIST perfectly match the WHO-LIST medicines, 40 could be considered as reasonable substitutes, but 45 (14.0 %) present in the WHO-LIST are not present in the MEX-LIST, including an oversupply of 495 medicines. Rationality level could be analyzed for 353 of these: 43.1 % (n = 152) were classified as NN, 12.2 % (n = 43) as NA, and 6.2 % (n = 22) as JR due to limited available information. In summary, 61.5 % of the evaluated medicines present in the MEX-LIST but not included in the WHO-LIST (n = 217) can be considered drugs that do not add substantial therapeutic benefits, this accounts for 28.1 % of the medicines in the MEX-LIST. Conclusions: MEX-LIST is characterized by a twofold irrationality in that essential medicines to treat prevalent diseases are missing and medicines without any rational added value are in oversupply. This type of study can be easily applied to other countries with the aim of providing a forum for further discussion and improvement of the medicines offered by their national formularies. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)949-956
    JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013


    • Drug utilization study
    • Essential medicines list
    • Formulary list
    • Me-too drugs
    • Mexico
    • Rational use of medicines


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