Is that a peso in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

  • by: |
  • 09/02/2005

Attention Senators Dorgan and Vitter: Here’s some info from a recent AP story that you might find interesting …

MEXICO CITY. In just eight years Farmacias Similares, or Similar Pharmacies, has grown from a single store in Mexico City to 3,329 across Mexico and is spreading throughout Central America as well as Argentina, Ecuador and Chile. A pharmacy opened in the Peruvian capital of Lima on July 29. Colombia is next. And it’s made Victor Gonzalez a rich man.

His catchy advertising — a cartoon doctor and an army of scantily clad models — has made 58-year-old Gonzalez a household name. His slogan is “The Same, Only Cheaper.”

Now the recovering alcoholic and self-professed womanizer wants to translate his popularity into a run for president, though the law is against him, as is most conventional wisdom.

Gonzalez refuses to divulge his net worth, joking in an interview, “If I tell you, they’ll come kidnap me.” But his eight companies, manufacturing, transporting or selling pharmaceuticals, generated around $400 million in sales last year. His group claims to control one-quarter of Mexico’s $9 billion drug industry.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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