The study on the pharmaceutical industry recently undertaken by the consultant firm Tomorrow’s Advice, 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, whether generic or under foreign license. These firms operate at 33.5% of their full capacity.
Pharmaceutical products are mainly exported toward Jordan (33.3%) and Irak (16.2%). These exports represented 0.61% of Lebanese exports in 1999, or USD 4.13 million.
Lebanon imported 2,737 types of medicines in 1999, for USD 272.8 million, or 4.4% of imports. Products are mainly imported from France (18.1%) and the United Kingdom (17.7%).
The major problems of this sector, according to Tomorrow’s Advice, are the following: lack of quality control, inadequate legislation, weak consumer’s protection, high health costs, lack of statistics and transparency (