The new report* shows that Saudia Arabia is attempting to seize back power over this industry which has historically been controlled by expatriates. The government is attempting to change patent regulation, drug approvals, and employment law, in order to promote local pharmaceutical and medical devices companies.
Saudi Arabia is largely dependent on an expatriate workforce, hiring just only one national for every 13 foreign workers. However, the government has now initiated employment-generation programs, targeting unemployed Saudi youths in an effort to promote the “indigenization”
There has been a recent focus on trying to streamline the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries in the country. In order to do this, the government is working to ease cumbersome regulatory processes and accelerate the approval of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. In 2009, it was estimated that 14% of medicine being sold in Saudi Arabia was fake or counterfeit, and this spurred the creation of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) whose primary role is to control and block the counterfeit medicine market. The SFDA is now responsible for ensuring the safety of food and drugs, as well as the safety of biological and chemical substances. It has set up compulsory standards specifications for these products, whether they are imported or locally manufactured, and has established a convenient online application and registration system for the market authorization procedure, benefitting both local and foreign pharmaceutical companies.
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According to World Intellectual Property Organization 2011 annual report, Saudi Arabia registered 147 patents, the most among the Arab countries. Saudi Arabia is fully compliant with the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which helps to bring foreign investments into the country and promotes licensing and manufacturing agreements between multinational proprietary drug producers and local manufacturers.
The pharmaceutical market of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, valued at $3.5 billion in 2011, is one of the largest markets in the Middle East, and is the largest among the Gulf Cooperation Council. The market, which is projected to reach $5.6 billion in 2020, will be driven upwards by the increasing burden of chronic diseases, improvements in regulatory guidelines, and launch of new products. Currently, patented drugs capture a dominant position in the Saudi pharmaceutical market; however, government incentives have driven the rapid expansion and adoption of generic medications
This report identifies the key trends in the healthcare market, and provides insights on the demographic, regulatory, and reimbursement landscape, and healthcare infrastructure. Most importantly, the report provides valuable insights into the trends and segmentation of the pharmaceutical and medical device markets.
This report was built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GlobalData’s team of industry experts.
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