With policymakers highly focused on the functionality of Latin America healthcare systems amid the pandemic, 2021 will continue to be an extremely important moment for international, regional, and local teams to be strongly engaged around evolving local debates regarding access and reimbursement conditions, beyond the immediate challenges created by the pandemic itself.

The amount of uncertainty regarding vaccine effectiveness and deployment to address the COVID-19 pandemic means that payers and providers face tremendous uncertainty regarding funding flows as well as the timing and magnitude of the recovery in demand for non-COVID-19 healthcare services (both elective and non-elective). In this case, firms should anticipate an environment as—if not more—dynamic as what we saw in 2020. Healthcare policy will remain at the center of the political debate, while key decision makers will be in demand of quick and timely support to address newly arising challenges. This combination of factors will present an environment in which firms prepared to offer innovative solutions can take large steps to ensuring continued improvements in patient access both in the short and medium terms.

In this article, we review the key events to watch in Latin America’s healthcare markets in 2021. The events are all related to legislative or regulatory decisions and have the potential to significantly impact local market access and reimbursement conditions. None of these potential events will avoid the economic, social, and health impacts created by the COVID-19 pandemic, which will likely play heavily on local discussion around broader legislative and regulatory reform impacting local healthcare systems.

2021 Events to Watch

Many of our events have the potential to drive negative and positive outcomes for organizations operating in LATAM’s healthcare systems.

Brazil Changes Process for Private Formulary: Political pressure mounted in 2020 to change the process for updating Brazil’s private sector formulary, with progress seen in the private sector regulatory agency (ANS).

Colombia Address AFP in Contributive Regime: Colombia continues to struggle to execute its liquidity injection program, but with new leadership at ADRES, we can expect potential changes to the process.

Argentina Raises Social Security Taxes: Argentina’s HMOs will require further financial support in 2021, while the overall system requires a structural change to revenue generation.

Mexico’s UNOPS Experiment is a Total Success: Centralized procurement through UNOPS has not yet proven effective, with many outstanding questions remaining.

Actions for Business Professionals

Support local teams in scenario building: Given the extreme uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, firms should be building scenarios around these key events to watch. These scenarios should consider business impacts, key signposts, and ownership of actions across functional areas.

Ensure institutional view on best outcomes: Many of these events to watch involve complex changes in local regulatory environments. Firms should establish a unified institutional view on what is the best outcome for patient access.

Build stakeholder coalitions: No firm has the resources to shape these policy outcomes alone—nor will it be possible through local associations only. Industry actors must consider the broader stakeholder ecosystem when engaging

Download an executive summary of our Latin America Healthcare Events to Watch for a detailed analysis of the key events impacting your markets.

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