ImpactAlpha, Jul. 27 – Diabetes has become one of the top three causes of death in Mexico, up from 15th in the 1950s. Clinicas de Azucar has grown to be an essential player in Mexico’s fight against the preventable and manageable disease.
The Monterrey-headquartered social enterprise operates the largest network of diabetes clinics in the country, with 33 clinics in 19 major cities. The company has treated over 220,000 patients, up to 95% of them with low-to-middle incomes.
“Although no one is immune to diabetes, low income people are hit the hardest,” said Clinicas’ Javier Lozano. The company aims to double the number of patients served with the MXN$150 million ($7.3 million) mezzanine investment from Blue like an Orange Sustainable Capital.
- Impact-linked finance. Clinicas has leveraged social impact incentives, or SIINCs, to drive low-income patient intake and to raise $1.5 million in equity funding from impact investors. Through the mechanism, Swiss development agency SDC rewarded the firm for increasing the ratio of low-income clients it served from 31% to 36% and improving blood-sugar levels.
- Affordable care. “Typically innovations in healthcare increase costs, because they’re looking for better technology,” Lozano told ImpactAlpha in a 2019 video interview. Clinicas’ “one-stop-shop” model has lowered the cost of care by providing services, including consultations, behavior change and access to specialty pharmacies, through an annual membership. “In terms of serving low-income patients, it [should be about] finding innovations that reduce costs,” Lozano says.