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Tue 19 Feb 2008 04:00 AM

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PWH sets sights on drug distribution

A newly-formed logistics company has pledged to tackle the distribution issues plaguing the region's pharmaceutical market, by shortening the gap between hospitals and manufacturers.

A newly-formed logistics company has pledged to tackle the distribution issues plaguing the region's pharmaceutical market, by shortening the gap between hospitals and manufacturers.

Pharma World Holding, a joint venture between Ithmar Capital Fund I and Banaja International Group, believes that by overhauling distribution strategies for pharmaceutical firms, it can speed up drug deliveries and cut product shortages.

Currently, only a handful of global pharmaceutical firms have manufacturing facilities in the Middle East. Instead, orders are shipped in through regional agents, who are responsible for maintaining supplies to local hospitals and clinics.

In the past, poor stock forecasting, coupled with a fragmented supply chain, has led to drug shortages on the local market.

Pharma World has positioned itself as an interim storage and distribution firm for pharmaceutical manufacturers. Using purpose-designed IT, the company will accept orders from customers, process and ship orders from its UAE-based warehousing facility and manage stock levels.

This approach, argues business development group director Maher Kheder, can open up the pharmaceutical market to increased growth by ensuring supply meets demand.

"The traditional distribution model meant foreign manufacturers would supply products through distributors who place and receive orders directly from principal manufacturing facilities," he said.

This model lacks flexibility and means that principals need to find a distributor with excellent regional knowledge to optimise the process.

"The Pharma World Holdings system provides an integrative approach that better links principals with distributors. Manufacturers can enjoy better distribution, with less administration and more cost efficiency - it's win win.

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