The Business Year

Mohammed M. Batterjee

General Manager, Batterjee Pharma

There are a lot of things that can be done to support the industry. First and foremost is making it easier to do business. Regulations must be clear, transparent, and widely disseminated. Local industry could also be given a fast track through the registration process, especially in terms of registering new medicines. In the past, local medicine had some support in terms of the registration of new products, but that has disappeared. Timing is a vital factor for us, and if we were to get more support in this area, business could be greatly improved. Localization projects could also be given more support. Incentive structures aimed at bringing multinational manufacturing to the area should be designed. Real incentives and real commitments are key. Buying more from local companies is not a new idea. The time is ripe to begin giving real support to this notion, and a lot can be done to ensure that it succeeds.

Yasser Al Obaidaa

CEO, Sudair Pharmaceuticals

In Saudi Arabia around 75-80% of pharmaceutical products are imported, and most locally produced medications are general and do not fulfill the country’s growing demand or enhance pharmaceutical security. So the vision was to start producing specialty and advanced pharmaceuticals locally. We have a pharmaceutical manufacturing complex being built over four phases. Last year we started constructing the first plant, which will be dedicated for oncology products like targeted therapies, hormonal, and chemotherapy because there is none in the region. The second plant will be for parental nutritional products, the third plant will be for biosimilars, and the fourth will mainly be for life-saving medications. Most of these manufacturing facilities are niche, and most of the products are not produced locally in the GCC. Our aim is to localize the technology, not just import medications. We also need to transfer the knowledge to coming generations and establish a competitive pharmaceutical industry hub in the country led by trained Saudi pharmacists.

Yasser Joharji

CEO, Yasser Joharji

The pharmacy practice in the region has witnessed great progress over the past years. Previously, pharmacists’ role centered around dispensing medications in accordance with a prescription and providing a final check to ensure accurate delivery of medications to patients. While pharmacists receive training in preventive care, health and wellness, and patient education, they have traditionally leveraged their clinical knowledge to review drug prescriptions and to prevent inappropriate dosing and minimize drug abuses. In the last decade, we have seen a great shift in the role of pharmacists, which now entails more direct patient care, such as primary care and disease management services.

Faisal Bindail

Deputy General Manager, AJA Pharmaceutical Industries Company

AJA Pharmaceutical Industries Company’s facility in Hail was inaugurated in November 2015. Since then many pharmaceutical companies have showed interest in partnering with AJA Pharma through different business models, including contract manufacturing and licensing. We expect this business to show positive growth in the coming three to five years. Through GMP accreditation and approvals from major regulatory authorities, in addition to the granted GMP certificate from Saudi FDA in 2016, we expect AJA Pharma to be positioned as one of the leading manufacturers of pharmaceutical products in the MENA region. AJA Pharma’s portfolio is based on a market knowledge approach, which takes into consideration market demand and captures opportunities for the top healthcare priorities and the relevant unmet needs in specific target disease areas, such as cardio-metabolic, asthma, and CNS. AJA Pharma also foresees a good business opportunity from contract manufacturing, as many multinational companies are looking for local manufacturing partners to expand their business in this potential market.



You may also be interested in...

Thamer Aldhafiri, CEO of Cipher

SAUDI ARABIA - Telecoms & IT

Thamer Aldhafiri


CEO, Cipher


SAUDI ARABIA - Telecoms & IT

Hamad Alenizi


Group CEO, Faden Media Group



Mohammed A. F. Al Kraidees


Executive Board Member, Al Jazirah Vehicles Agencies

View All interviews