The pharmaceuticals manufacturing factories are presently experiencing a sharp competition in the regional markets as well as the potential global markets. Thus, competition remains a major barrier facing the Arab pharmaceutical industries.
Another obstacle facing these industries is the fact that they rely on foreign markets for their raw materials. According to Al-Bayan newspaper, 90 percent of the raw materials used by the local pharmaceutical factories are imported from outside the Arab states.
Furthermore, the operating pharmaceutical plants in the Arab countries lack adequate scientific research and development centers. Today, the combined efforts of all the Arab pharmaceutical factories are still incapable of financing the development of a single pharmaceutical prescription, with an estimated price tag of $300 million.
Official sources have estimated the average per capita annual spending on pharmaceuticals in the Arabian Gulf states at $60. However, this spending level falls to as low as $6 in poor Arab countries such as Palestine, Sudan, Mauritania and Somalia.
Statistics recently publicized and reported in Al-Bayan estimate the output of the total Arab pharmaceuticals industry at $5.2 billion, which is equivalent to five percent of the total value of Arab national products. In addition, the pharmaceutical industry in the Arab World employs more than 50,000 workers and specialists. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )