Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the two largest markets for pharmaceuticals in the Gulf, Arab News news reported, citing a survey by Alpen Capital.
Saudi Arabia which has the largest economy in the Arab world, and is the biggest regional manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, accounts for about $5.1bn of the industry which is estimated to have grown 10.3 percent last year to $ 8.5bn from $ 7.7bn in 2011, according to the survey.
The UAE market which grew by an estimated 3 percent last year accounts for $1.6bn.
About 35 percent of the pharmaceuticals are purchased by the government in Saudi Arabia, the newspaper reported.
The GCC Pharmaceutical Industry report released by Alpen Capital forecasts pharma sales will rise on the back of the growing population of the Gulf countries which is expected to increase to 50m by 2017.