Pharmaceutical and healthcare spending in Saudi Arabia is expected to increase from SAR 9.94 billion in 2008 to SAR 13.09 billion by 2013, driven by the growing healthcare demand of the country's sizeable and relatively wealthy population. The positive growth trend reinforces the country's reputation as a key stakeholder in the regional healthcare industry as Saudi's drug market already accounts for a dominating 65 per cent of all pharmaceutical sales in the GCC.
Saudi Arabia's pharmaceutical and medical device markets, in particular, are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent and 7 per cent respectively until 2012. This growth is influenced in part by aggressive government spending as SAR 61.2 billion has already been allocated for healthcare expenditure, representing a 17 per cent increase from 2009, for various large-scale projects including new primary centres all over the country and 92 new hospitals with a combined capacity of 17,150 beds.
The robust outlook of the country's healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors is evident in the upcoming 'Saudi Medicare 2010 – The 13th International Healthcare, Hospital Supplies and Medical Equipment Show', which will be held from April 12 to 15, 2010 / Rabi Al-Tani 27 to Jumada al-Awwal 1 at the newly completed Riyadh International Exhibition Center. Saudi Medicare 2010 has registered a 30 per cent increase in exhibition area to accommodate a significant rise in exhibitors and trade visitors, including a growing number of corporate decision makers of healthcare multinationals and foreign investors.
Mohammed Al Hussaini, Deputy General Manager, Riyadh Exhibitions Company, said: "Demand for pharmaceutical products as well as medical supplies and related services has picked up on account of the Saudi Government's efforts to strengthen the country's ability to provide world-class healthcare to its citizens and residents. The government has even increased healthcare expenditure this year to ensure that upgrade programs are implemented immediately. Global and regional companies have responded promptly as manifested by the significant increase in the number of exhibitors who are on the lookout for lucrative business and investment opportunities in the country."
Saudi Medicare has further revealed that it expects 2010 to serve as a starting point of a new era of growth in the country's healthcare industry with new business opportunities emerging in medical devices and supplies, generic pharmaceuticals, healthcare insurance and education. Saudi Medicare also noted a huge potential in the relatively new area of e-health, which has received a major boost with the government's efforts to establish a national electronic record system for healthcare.
Saudi Medicare 2010 will be held in conjunction with the 4th Medical Devices Scientific Forum, which is organised under the supervision of the Medical Devices Sector at the Saudi Food and Drug Authority. Held under the auspices of General Department of Supplies at the Ministry of Health, the scientific forum will discuss various topical medical issues, including those related to medical devices technology, its management, and the challenges being faced in this field of expertise.
The exhibition and forum will likewise be held concurrently with 'Saudi Eye Care 2010 and 'Saudi Dentistry 2010.