UAE leads pharmaceutical sector growth with US $1bn investment

UAE leads pharmaceutical sector growth with US $1bn investment
Published: 13 March 2019 - 6:47 a.m.
By: Logistics Middle East Staff

The pharmaceutical sector in the MENA has witnessed tremendous growth over the last few years and is projected to reach around US $60 billion by 2025, with US $1.2-billion allocated for the healthcare system in the 2019 budget.

With governments in the region focusing more and more on the wellbeing of a growing population and enhancing healthcare services, timely and safe delivery of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, especially temperature controlled products has become vital for the sector.

The Middle East Pharma Cold Chain Congress happening between 19-21 March at Millennium Airport Hotel in Dubai is an important platform for the pharmaceutical industry in the MENA region, discussing ongoing and future challenges and solutions in the industry.

According to studies, the pharma sector’s growth is largely fuelled by high population growth, increased life expectancy and the prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, as well as the aspiration for excellent healthcare services among countries in the region.

The UAE is leading the growth with over US $1.2 billion funnelled into the healthcare system in the 2019 budget, on top of substantial funds allotted in the US $540 million innovation fund set up by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

With the recent approval of the Dubai Silk Road Strategy and existing outstanding logistics infrastructure, the UAE is fast turning into a source market in the supply chain, manufacturing and exporting pharmaceuticals to high-demand markets such as Africa and Asia.

Accelerated drug-registration systems, investments in R&D, innovation, and technological advancement, has led to a rise in the number of international pharmaceutical companies from 30 in 2013 to 47 in 2016, and is expected to reach 75 in 2020.

Moreover, around 95% of the global pharmaceutical companies have a base in the UAE, which gives them logistics access to 43 countries worldwide.

The Congress will focus on challenges faced by pharmaceutical companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with the globalisation of the pharmaceutical supply chain requiring them to maintain ever-changing regulations and compliance for temperature-sensitive products.

It will also discuss Good Distribution Practices and varying regulations across different countries. It will delve into strategies including regulatory compliance, integrating cold chain management, selecting the appropriate partners, maintaining supply chain integrity, achieving real-time traceability and more.

The Middle East Pharma Cold Chain Congress is co-organised by the Saudi Pharmaceutical Society and Maarefah Management and supported by leading pharmaceutical companies including Global Pharma, LisaLine, Zakłady Farmaceutyczne UNIA Spółdzielnia Pracy, Polish Investment and Trade Agency, and Technical Supplies & Services Co.L.L.C.

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