Mexico’s Soda Tax Is Working. The US Should Learn From It

07/13/15 Wired

sugarLast fall, Berkeley, California, became the first city in the United States to pass a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages—soda pop, sweetened teas, sugary juices, and energy drinks. Proponents say the tax will discourage the consumption of a nutrition-free, even dangerous category of beverage. Critics counter with claims of an over-reaching nanny state whose interventions will do nothing to curb rates of obesity and diabetes.

To figure out who’s right, it’d be nice to have some data. But before Berkeley passed its tax, 30 other cities and states across the US had tried to introduce similar measures and failed. Berkeley’s tax is certainly raising revenues, but it’s too soon to know whether consumption has gone down or overall public health has improved. Luckily, somewhere else has a year’s head start on taxing soda: Mexico.

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Carlos Slim Foundation presents Mexican and Latin American Achievements in Health

6/19/15 PR Newswire

latino-healthThe Carlos Slim Foundation celebrated its annual “Awards in Health” ceremony at the Museo Soumaya on Wednesday. Dr. Mercedes Juan Lopez, Secretary of Health for Mexico, Dr. Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya, CEO of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and Dr. Jose Narro Robles, Dean of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), joined individuals from the Foundation including Mr. Carlos Slim Helu, Founder, Mr. Marco Antonio Slim Domit, President, and Dr. Roberto Tapia Conyer, Executive Director.

The event highlighted the Foundation’s diverse core health programs and important strides made during their years of operation.Marco Antonio Slim Domit stated that, “the importance of the foundation’s work is found in the benefit that is reflected by people’s health, and by discovering and implementing new and better solutions to social problems.”

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Survey Shows Mexicans Drinking Less Soda After Tax

10/13/14 The Wall Street Journal

Coca Cola Bottles

A majority of Mexicans say they’re drinking less sugary drinks this year, and are also relating soda to health problems after the country introduced a tax on sweet beverages, according to the results of a survey by public health advocates released Monday. Just over half the 1,500 people who participated in the August survey said they have lowered their consumption of sugary drinks versus last year, while 98% said they considered drinking soda raises their risk for developing diabetes and obesity. Nearly a fifth still drink more than three liters of soda a week, although in last year’s survey a quarter of respondents drank that amount.

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Companies in Mexico Find Healthier Packaged Foods a Tough Sell

10/02/14 Wall Street Journal

medicine healthcare - stethoscopeMexico is the world’s ninth biggest market for packaged food. But, seven out of 10 adults in the country and a third of children are overweight. Facing daunting public health bills, the Mexican government has undertaken a series of measures this year, ranging from taxes on food it deems unhealthy to restrictions on junk food advertising aimed at young children.

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How Will the Megatrends Play Out in Mexico? Healthcare Challenges and Opportunities in the Mexican Market

08/26/14 by Andrew Rudman, Managing Director, ManattJones Global Strategies, LLC

medicine healthcare - stethoscopeAre the five megatrends shaping pharma’s next decade in the United States also key change drivers for Mexico? Certainly, there are some commonalities for companies doing business in both countries—but there are also major variations. To succeed in Mexico, manufacturers can’t just “export” the strategies they adopt in the U.S. They must understand the unique challenges and opportunities that Mexico presents for life sciences firms—and craft plans customized to the demographic, economic, cultural and regulatory environment of the Mexican market.

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Novo Nordisk Seeks to Boost Sales of Insulin in U.S., Mexico

shutterstock_120171124The Walls Street Journal, 04/03/14

Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk is setting out to redraw the geographical map for diabetes treatments. Historically the company—which commands roughly half the world market for insulin—has focused its efforts on Europe and Asia, leaving much of the Americas to Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly  & Co. However, Novo Nordisk Chief Executive Lars Rebien Sorensen feels that strategy has left the company underrepresented in two major markets where Type 2 diabetes is rampant: the U.S. and Mexico. Mr. Sorensen aims to correct that imbalance. “For us, the United States is interesting because Lilly used to dominate the industry,” the 59-year-old executive said in an interview Friday in Mexico City, pegging his company’s share of the U.S. insulin market at 30%-plus versus just 20% a decade ago.

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Immigrants without legal status remain mostly in healthcare limbo

latino-healthThe Los Angeles Times, 01/19/2014

When Alva Alvarez gets sick, she buys over-the-counter medicine from the grocery and takes as much as she can until she feels better. The mother of five resorts to this because she can’t afford a visit to the doctor to figure out what’s ailing her.

Although scenarios like this are supposed to disappear as millions of Americans become newly insured under the national healthcare law, Alvarez’s situation isn’t likely to improve and could get worse. The San Bernardino resident represents the biggest — and mostly invisible — group of people left out of the Affordable Care Act: immigrants in the country illegally.

Concerned by this, state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) proposed Jan. 10 that such immigrants be allowed to get health insurance through a program such as Medi-Cal.

 

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