The Business Year

Madhukar Tanna CEO, Pharmax Pharmaceuticals

UAE - Health & Education

Madhukar Tanna

CEO , Pharmax Pharmaceuticals


Madhukar Tanna is a senior pharmaceutical executive, currently holding the CEO position at Pharmax Pharmaceuticals FZ LLC, Dubai. He is a pharmacy graduate and MBA from Mumbai University. In the last 30-plus years, Tanna has held senior level positions in marketing, sales and business development in UAE and Canada for branded and generic companies. He has been involved with Pharmax as a greenfield project, creating a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and developing a sales and marketing organization for commercialization of branded generic portfolio in the region.

"I have been here for the last 10 years, and the science park has been extremely business friendly and supportive."
Pharmax Pharmaceuticals has become a major player in producing branded generic medication in the UAE and is now looking at exporting its products to various markets.
What is your pharmaceutical range?

We are predominately present in chronic medications with therapies such as hypocholesteremia, blood pressure, and depression, and there is a large focus on psychiatry and mental health. We have launched two products for depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, and we are still launching more. We produce generics of the innovator. We are not into specific therapy for COVID-19, and we will continue to focus on chronic medication, as this is an area where the UAE is slowly moving away from branded products to generics due to the cost factor.

Where do you see yourself in the UAE’s plan to minimize exposure to exports?

The pharmaceutical industry is highly regulated, unlike most other industries. In pharmaceuticals, we need to do the registration in every country for every product. Once we do that, we are eligible for exports. We have identified Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and Mauritius, as export markets. The UAE is dependent on outside suppliers for a finished product, and if we had such a facility, it would be different.

How has the pandemic impacted specific dynamics of the pharmaceutical sector in the UAE?

For Pharmax, the pandemic has changed certain strategies regarding our products. We have started looking at the medication required for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are either admitted to hospitals or are recovering at home. One product is etruscomycin, which is widely used to treating respiratory infections related to COVID-19. We will also start producing those medicines. However, other than that, we only have the capability to produce oral solvent tablets and capsules. Remdesivir is the only drug approved to treat COVID-19 as a lifesaving medicine in hospitals, but no one in the UAE is producing it, as we do not have a single factory that can produce injectables.

What benefits or challenges does this location offer to you?

The Dubai Science Park is a great idea, and more manufacturing should be encouraged to come here. The park provides everything we need in terms of infrastructure, regulatory support, zero VAT, the ability to import anything we want, and being considered a free zone with free imports and exports. We have received a great deal of support and moving forward it should also start initiatives like the Dubai Chamber of Commerce such as certification. I have been here for the last 10 years, and the science park has been extremely business friendly and supportive.



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