Leading Spanish Pharmaceutical Company, Cinfa, Marks Regional Entrance
UAE Second Only to Saudi Arabia in Annual Drugs Spend Market Size and Could Grow to USD 2.7 Billion by 2014, Analysts Say
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The GCC market for world-class calibre, European-made pharmaceuticals will grow past the USD 10 billion mark by 2020, as the region's youthful population continues to expand on the back of a surging influx of expatriate workers, according to a recent study made by QNB Capital.
In line with this predicted growth, Cinfa, one of Spain's leading pharmaceutical manufacturers, will officially launch in the region via the burgeoning UAE market, at a launch ceremony yesterday attended by the Spanish Ambassador to the UAE His Excellency Eugenio Salarich, senior health officials and preeminent healthcare professionals.
“Cinfa is a model of successful and compromised company in Spain, and we offer them the full support of the Spanish Government in their efforts to bring world class levels of drug manufacturing to the GCC region at a time when there is such tremendous demand for greater choice in medicine,” said His Excellency Eugenio Salarich, Spanish Ambassador to the UAE.
But the growth of the GCC health sector is not due to population increases alone. The Gulf is home to some the highest incidence of deadly lifestyle diseases, namely diabetes and heart disease. The combination of the two suggests that there will likely be surging regional demand for world-class calibre drugs over the next several decades.
Currently, Saudi Arabia leads overall annual drugs spending at more than USD 2.8 billion, followed by the UAE at USD 1.8 billion, and Kuwait at USD 374 million.
Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain follow suit at USD 227, 152, and 118 million, respectively.
Many analysts expect the Emirates' annual drugs spend market size to reach USD 2.7 billion by 2014, with a per capita spend of close to USD 500.
“Cinfa, a European benchmark laboratory in the pharmaceutical sector, has over 40 years of history. Our experience, our scientists team and our cutting edge technology have enabled us to lead the Spanish market and to be present in more than 50 countries worldwide. Cinfa is now arriving in the United Arab Emirates, an advanced society demanding the highest quality standards. Our aim is to contribute to society's well-being by providing high quality drugs, with the guarantee of a world class European laboratory,” said Enrique Ordieres, President of Cinfa.
High Incidence of Diabetes and Hypertension in the Country
The UAE has a high incidence of ‘lifestyle' diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure).
“Nearly 40 percent of the UAE population over 30 years of age has high blood pressure, and this statistic is likely to double to 50 to 60 percent by 2025 according to the World Health Organization. UAE residents and citizens must be aware not only of their treatment options, but of the incredible importance of sticking to a regimen in order to reduce this incidence. Affordable, quality choice in medicine can assist,” said Dr. Abdulmajeed Al Zubaidi, Consultant Cardiologist at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City.
Almost 20 percent of the UAE population suffers from Type 2 diabetes according to International Diabetes Federation data, due to a sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition and the lack of understanding of treatment options. If unregulated, it can lead to blindness, renal failure and amputations.
“Cinfa's drug portfolio comprises of over more than 120 active ingredients and 336 presentations, covering more than 35 major therapeutical areas and conditions, including hypertension and diabetes,” said Khalid Amin, Regional Director of Cinfa in the UAE. “We now have products in the market to address the need for more quality choice in medicine in the UAE, and we are using the country as our springboard for growth into other regional markets in the future.”
“Though smaller in comparison to the US, European, and Asian markets, the GCC market holds great potential for European pharmaceutical makers,” said Jan Felton, Managing Director of MPC Healthcare, the UAE's leading distributor and now distributor of Cinfa products in the country.
In 2012, Cinfa´s sales reached nearly USD 430 million and grew eight percent year on year compared to 2011, with expectations to grow similarly in future. This year, Cinfa will invest more than USD 23 million in research, development and innovation and for the next three years, the planned investment is nearly USD 86 million - an increase of 60 percent compared to the last three years.
Additionally, in the last 5 years, Cinfa has invested nearly USD 83 million in high quality machinery, equipment, installations and new computer systems. From 2013 to 2015, they plan to invest more than USD 46 million - all financed with Cinfa's own resources and reinvesting 90 percent of its benefits.