Dubai February 2nd, 2015. Encouraged by supportive government policies and a strong regulatory framework, global pharmaceutical companies are beginning to transfer knowledge to local manufacturing partners in the UAE, in turn helping the Emirates develop a home-grown pharmaceutical industry.
Speaking at an Emerging Markets Intelligence & Research (EMIR) event hosted at Burj Al Arab, H.E Dr. Amin Al Amiri, Assistant Under-Secretary for Public Health Policy and Licensing at the UAE Ministry of Health said, “By 2021 we will be one of the leading countries in the pharmaceutical industry.” The senior health care official went on to encourage pharmaceutical multinationals to follow the lead of Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck, which in 2012 entered into a local manufacturing agreement with Abu Dhabi-based Neopharma.
The production agreement under which Neopharma is working to manufacture two Merck Serono products — Euthyrox, a hormone therapy treatment, and Glucophage a standard oral treatment for type 2 diabetes — is catering to regional demand and helping to turn the UAE into a pharmaceutical export base.
According to industry experts at the event, the partnership offers a powerful example of how UAE firms, with a supportive government creating a conducive business environment, can partner with international companies to bring innovation, research, science and technology to the Emirates.
While this knowledge transfer itself is of benefit to the economy, local manufacturing is also good news for patients. Hitherto a significant part of global production for Glucophage was imported from Europe to the Middle East, but with the drug being manufactured locally, the partnership reduces the lead-time for products to reach the market, reducing supply shortfalls.
“The strategic partnership with the UAE Ministry of Health has bolstered our local and regional presence, augmented our brand equity and improved patient access to our innovative medications while driving development and growth,” said Paolo Carli, Head of Middle Near East, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.