Proposed Saudi Shift Away from Oil May Favor Bio/Pharmaceutical Industry


Saudi Arabia is restructuring its economy to reduce its dependence on oil. The bio/pharmaceutical industry has not been mentioned specifically as yet in those restructuring plans, but a number of policies already in place in the country are meant to spur bio/pharmaceutical industry growth in the country. There are few dedicated Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMOs) operating in the country currently, but bio/pharmaceutical manufacturing operations there might be helped by arrangements that could absorb excess capacity.

Industries such as mineral mining and military production have been specifically mentioned in news coverage of the “Vision 2030” plan by such news outlets as BBC and Reuters. No specific mention of the bio/pharmaceutical industry has been made, but several observers have suggested that it could also be a target for expansion and increased government support and attention.

The Saudi market was estimated at around $7.3 billion as of late 2014/early 2015, more than half of the market for the whole of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Saudi Arabia, Dodson said. IMS Health estimates that the Saudi bio/pharmaceutical market will grow at an average annual rate of 10% through 2019, making it the 19th largest market worldwide. Further, the Saudi bio/pharmaceutical industry is considered a gateway to the GCC providing more than 50% of drug products sold in the GCC region.

This article is reprinted from the June issue of Emerging Markets Outsourcing Report. The full article addresses the opportunity in the Saudi market. To learn more, click here.

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Jim Miller is the founder and president of PharmSource Information Services, Inc. A preeminent expert in bio/pharmaceutical outsourcing, Jim established and presides over the industry’s principal resource for serious consumers of information on contract drug development and manufacturing, PharmSource STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE. He is editor and publisher of Bio/Pharmaceutical Outsourcing Report and Emerging Markets Outsourcing Report.

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