GCC firms urged to step up medicine manufacturing

Senior official voices concerns over region importing 90% of its pharmaceutical needs
GCC firms urged to step up medicine manufacturing
The GCC currently imports 90 percent of its pharmaceutical needs. (Getty Images)
By Andy Sambidge
Fri 15 Apr 2011 02:32 PM

The GCC currently imports 90 percent of its pharmaceutical needs and local manufacturers need to step up to the challenge, a senior official has said.

Abdulaziz Bin Hamad Al-Aqeel, the Secretary General of the Doha-based Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting (GOIC), warned GCC states against continuing importing such a high percentage of medicines.

In a speech to pharmaceutical industry delegates, he said there were "significant opportunities" for local medicine manufacturers.

He said the pharmaceutical market in GCC countries and Yemen exceeded $6bn and is expected to reach around $10bn by 2020.

Despite the growth of this market, local manufacturing is not able to meet the growing demand, and GCC countries continue to import most of their needs in medicines from abroad, he added in comments published by Qatar News Agency.

 "Therefore, significant opportunities exist for growth and expansion of this sector in GCC. Expanding growth in this industry would also help to achieve the strategic objectives of the region in terms of industrial diversification into knowledge based industries," the GOIC secretary general said.

The GOIC is leading calls for a study that will identify the need for establishing a pharmaceutical trade association for GCC producers.

The Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting was founded in 1976 to promote industrial cooperation and coordination among its six members.

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