Pharmaceutical sales in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - are set to grow by an average of 7 percent a year to 2020, reaching a value of $10.8 billion from $5.6 billion in 2010, Frost & Sullivan said Monday in a new research.
The emerging GCC drug pharmaceutical market is undergoing a sea change, with governments implementing reforms, simplifying regulations and upgrading and expanding healthcare infrastructure to compete with the global pharmaceuticals market, the report said.
Favorable regulatory policies have attracted foreign participants to the market, intensifying competition among top multinationals and a few local companies, it added.
As imports account for 80 percent of the GCC pharmaceutical market, the government efforts are vital to enhance local production.
Domestic producers focus mainly on the manufacture of generic drugs but, given these products’ high prices, end-users tend to lean towards branded drugs, the report notes, pointing out that the World Health Organiszation (WHO) has estimated that drug products in the GCC are priced 13 times higher than the international standard.
There is no standardization in their prices, due to the small size of the market and increasing privatization within the sector, the research noted.