(A report by Banque Libano-Française) - A recently undertaken study by the consultant firm Tomorrow’s Advice on the pharmaceutical industry, upon a request by the PNUD, reveals that Lebanon counts 8 manufacturers of pharmaceutical products against 13 in Jordan and 50 in Syria, producing 747 types of medicines, both generic or under foreign license. These firms operate at 33.5 percent of their full capacity.
Pharmaceutical products are mainly exported to Jordan (33.3 percent) and Iraq (16.2 percent), where these exports represent 0.61 percent of Lebanese exports in 1999, valued at US $4.13 million.
Lebanon imported 2,737 types of medicines in 1999, for $272.8 million, or 4.4 percent of imports. Products are mainly imported from France (18.1 percent) and the United Kingdom (17.7 percent).
The major problems of this sector, according to Tomorrow’s Advice, include lack of quality control, inadequate legislation, weak consumer’s protection, high health costs, and lack of statistics and transparency.