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The country also has the second largest pharmaceutical market in the area after Turkey. the minister of health and population of Egypt. Project editor : Mary Carmen Luna Matuk. El-Saady. Art Director : Marie Chevallier. There are currently 74 pharmaceutical factories producing over This sponsored supplement was produced by Focus Reports. at the head of the Federation of Pharmaceuticals. the sector's situation will definitely improve within two to five years' time. an arguable and controversial pricing policy.focusreports.” he promised.” His Excellency.net or contact us at email@example.com Egypt Report Egypt: Potentially the Best Place to Invest in the Middle East “ E gypt has a lot of decisive assets. its long tradition in medicine. it is still mainly a domestically oriented industry focused on drug formulation with very limited research capabilities. location. Osama El-Saady. For exclusive interviews and more info please log on www. Professor Dr.www. The second market in the area It would be an understatement to say the country's potential is great. and growing at a rate of 2%. The country also faces its regulatory framework. With over 74 million inhabitants. Project coordination and advertising : Ines Nandin. Cosmetics and Medical Appliances Industries.net S2 FOCUS REPORTS DECEMBER 2006 . will certainly help the country get back on the right track. know-how. Egypt has become the most dynamic and attractive market in the MENA region. with more than 74 years experience. Although the country is considered one of the most advanced and mature pharmaceutical industries in the region. You can trust Egyptian manufacturers because all has been put in place to manufacture high-quality medicines in the country. This is why I believe our country could be the regional hub for the pharmaceutical industry since we have the potential to do so.focusreports. Dr. is quite optimistic about the ability of the Minister to find a balance between economic urges and social dimension. shows no doubt that the strong and necessary reform his government is currently undertaking will prove to be fruitful. “I invite the foreign community to keep an eye on Egypt since it is the best place to invest in the Middle East. as well as chairman and managing director of Sanofi-Aventis. Editorial contributor : Frederic Chouraki. as well as the dynamism and goodwill of its businessmen. Hatem El Gabaly. as well as its limited export capacity. On the other hand. and the biggest population in the region. According to Dr.
www. thus. Vacsera’s chairman. and finally a group of eight multinationals. ElSaady. which is focussed on providing healthcare insurance to every Egyptian by 2010.” The 100% governmental Drug Holding Company has also been a pivotal topic for the Egyptian economy as it manages to keep the pricing down and provides affordable medicines while remaining very profitable.600 different types of drugs for domestic sale and export. Of the 8. Drug makers say one of their biggest challenges is that the government’s pricing policy has failed to keep up with the rising costs of imported raw materials. It is also overcoming a corruption scandal involving the previous CEO.000 drugs registered with the Ministry of Health and Population. Chemicals and Medical Appliances whose 12 subsidiaries control a total of 23% of the market share. “We are always trying to get the price of medicines to come down. Today. pharmaceutical firms have been forced to absorb skyrocketing input costs. the tight regulatory environment still represents a hurdle for foreign companies. but by 2010 we are expecting to cover 100% of the population. This is a continuous headache for everyone.” The chamber has. Many of the policies that govern the pharmaceuticals sector date back to the 1960s. such as for polio.” ensured Dr. the Egyptian private sector companies. is at a critical point in trying to regain its credibility. Providing affordable medicine Although there is no doubt that modernization of the sector is underway. The company. “A more transparent system should also be implemented in order to attract more FDI. Dr. addressed the government to base its pricing system on one of the successful neighbors. The new healthcare program was designed in alignment with President Mubarak's political agenda. Magdi Hassan. “There is definitely an urge of modifying the pricing system. the Egyptian drug manufacturers can be lumped into three basic categories: the public sector represented by the Holding Company for Pharmaceuticals. chairman of the Egyptian Pharmacist Syndicate. which has since been eradicated.” added Dr. almost 7. changing their positions and alliances. Dr Mohamed Rabie. providing vaccines to the people.600 are manufactured locally. prefers to Therefore. “There is a need for governmental companies in Egypt and we will be very active since the government wants to cover all Egyptians by 2010. Zakaria Gad. Hatem Mostafa El-Gabaly. in which international companies were permitted to export their products to Egypt or establish their own factories domestically. The national policy is to provide affordable medicines to all of the people in this coun- “By 2010 we are expecting to cover 100% of the population” try. All are fighting for market share. “Pricing is the hottest issue and this is a social constraint. chairman of Drug Holding Company. Most of our people have a very low income. the major changes going on at stress the importance today in having sucthe head of the country are thoroughly fol. enough to cover 93% of domestic demand.cessful governmental companies and lowed by the differing actors of the sector. when the government established public companies in order to manufacture cheap substitutes for imported drugs as part of the country’s policy of self-sufficiency. however. the focus had shifted to a free market on the back of Sadat’s “open-door” economic policy. showing how his expertise in the private S3 FOCUS REPORTS DECEMBER 2006 . Unable to raise the price of their products.focusreports. By the 1980s. minister of health A company like Vacsera has been in the country for more than 105 years and is still a key actor in the nation.net Egypt Report 7. El Gabaly. It was wrongly said to have sold spoiled vaccines and resulting in the deaths of several children. “Today. around 35 to 37 million of the 70 million people are covered by healthcare insurance.” said Dr.” says Dr.
warranting specific attention. El. Wafik ElBardissi. “If not seriously addressed. hand health authorities are getting more Osama El Saadi flexible with medicine importation.www. there is a need to control the chaotic environment of the industry primarily through toughening up compliance standards. and on the other hand. two major challenges are facing the new cabinet. which is able to produce generic Many of the policies that drugs at a fraction of the govern the pharmaceuticals cost of imported brands. sector could help build a more transparent and less bureaucratic system.” he summed up. This moderation is also the result of a robust local pharmaceutical industry.” As a result of a lenient compliance system. The government's firm grip on pricing policies helps keep the price of medicine in Egypt among the lowest in the region.focusreports. On one.” Dr.net SPONSORED SUPPLEMENT Egypt Report reduced and the very professional complex industry became attractive for non-professional entrepreneurs with absolutely no expertise or knowledge of the industry. health policies have led to a chaotic environment. Spontaneous resolution of chronic problems like pricing could be a consequence of this approach. “This is liable to align the future of the industry with the health reform plans. where health policies have dealt with neither independently. restrictions imposed by the implementation of the TRIPS agreement as of 2005. “During the past ten years. the compliance cost was significantly S4 FOCUS REPORTS DECEMBER 2006 . executive vice-president of Minapharm Pharmaceuticals. This is in contrast to the past ten years.” noted Dr. sector date back to the 1960s The necessity of reform “I am less pessimistic today than during the last ten years. thereby repelling global players from granting manufacturing rights for new products and technologies in favor of importation. Second.Bardissi warned. According to Dr. there needs to be serious reconsideration of emerging obstacles. However. First. both challenges are liable to put the future of the Egyptian pharmaceutical industry in jeopardy. El-Bardissi. means generic manufacturers are suffering a significant shortage of pipeline products. the new cabinet is focusing on health reforms and the pharmaceutical industry is dealing with this as part of the reform.
but as many countries set prices on imported medicine based on its price in the country of origin. “How can I export if there are products here losing money?” he argued. to form AstraZeneca. “When we started the second company. with only 16 pharmaceutical factories. One must not forget that the Egyptian school of medicine has been a big influence on the entire continent. we have 211 products registered and 281 under registration outside Egypt. the pricing issue has kept many companies out of the export market. Sarwat Bassily. shares the same vision. Sarwat S Bassily exports $226 million in drugs per year. we had to start making the registrations of the new products from scratch. Amoun is currently concentrating on the local market. “The population here is increasing by 1. and by the end of 2004 Amoun achieved the EU certification to export to the European market. for instance. In 2002. and nearly one-third of all Arabs are Egyptians. the first pharmaceutical company in the world to get the certification BS-7799 for information safety and security. chairman and CEO of Amoun Pharmaceuticals. the government requested that it considered exporting its medicine. and just started looking to the export market a few years ago. the company ranks number two as per the IMS ranking.” Despite this prominently local focus.” he concluded. but the limited range of products did not justify the expense of setting up factories there. “If we take into consideration all our activities. effective products and straight-forward reactions. “The key to success is being ahead of others.” recalled Bassily. Zaghloul.4 million per year. The influence of Egypt on the pharmaceutical sector in the region is very clear. In the pharmaceutical business. Ahmed Zaghloul. the group began to survey the market. the total value of exports of all 74 pharmaceutical factories in Egypt is estimated at just $41 million . and in Amoun we are keen to build it year after year. We are very well known for our credibility. “We are 70 million and growing at a fast rate. to Dr.a drop in the bucket even by regional standards. one of Egypt's oldest private drugmakers. Sweden's AstraAB and Britain's Zeneca Group had a presence in Egypt for decades. marketing company president of AstraZeneca Egypt. and we have approximately 6% of the total Egyptian market. The amount of pharmaceuticals which I could sell here in a week's time can take us a year to sell in the export market. Following the merger in 1999.www. Amoun is also the only company to have seven different international certifications.net SPONSORED SUPPLEMENT Egypt Report Breaking Through out of the Export Desert nfortunately.” insisted Bassily. . Zaghloul said he found it intriguing that during AstraZeneca's negotiations to open the new factory.” Dr. for the Jordan market is very small and its industry was originally thought of for the export market. and the only pharmaceutical company in the region with OHSAS-18001 certification for Occupational Health and Safety. the company announced it would invest $40 million to build a factory in Sixth of October City to produce its specialty line of ethical drugs. “ U him. mostly in the Middle East and Africa. “The plans were then put on hold during 2003 because of the pricing problems that were causing turbulence in the market.” he said. Bassily is particularly proud to have sold its companies to GSK and contributed to the success of this MNC in Egypt. I am proud to say that we were the first company to do this in the private sector. Today. It was also given a prize by UNIDO as one of 50 Innovative Enterprises in Africa. “We studied the market and the project was finally given the greenlight in 2002. These figures are not surprising though. Moreover. The company would like to export. for instance. sold it with 523 registrations outside Egypt. Dr.” he said. It was. ny to GSK. Being ahead of others Dr. “If I try to export them.focusreports. Dr. Jordan. the major obstacle the country faces regarding exports is that Egypt is a big country and it is growing very fast. Egypt is meant to reinforce its position in the sector.” Despite these drawbacks. we manufacture 23 of the top 160 products in the country. a person has to have a good reputation.” explained Dr. To S6 FOCUS REPORTS DECEMBER 2006 Astra Zeneca’s U$ 40 million plant in 6th of October city near Cairo . “When I sold my first compaEgypt exports a disappointing $41 million of drugs per annum. Amoun is still a key actor in the Egyptian pharmaceutical sector. the local price will make me lose even more money. which is a very challenging figure to satisfy with new drugs every year. If Egyptian pharmaceutical firms currently export to 45 countries. exporting could be a loss-making venture. I The influence of Egyptian medicine The AstraZeneca experience is very relevant to the export issue.
Sudan and Libya. Adel Fouad. it limited the country's trading performance. now planning to start building factories out. as shown with the EIPICO story. However. and this takes time. chairman of the board of directors and executive director of EIPICO.then it is welcomed. is also very relevant to the tricks and resilience pharmaceutical companies had to show in order to break the national structural constraints.fostered the development a strong tion. Thus. side Egypt. after all. we started the nationalization of the pharmaceutical industries. “We are in the first export. we only supplied the local market. “When. assessing the potential of the export market. Also. we were also ready for exporta. Dr. we are often monitored and inspect.few other countries. and our new recruits are being trained under the best international standards. The company is also very careful about the ongoing merger and acquisitions process. “If the M&A is a win-win situation . And as my chairman of October Pharma. “In order to be able to in the next three years. currently ranks number three on IMS and was the first to merge in the country. as the head of the Export Committee. It hasn't been easy. This is what the Minister of Health demanded. but knew nothing of exportation. Ismail started EIPICO purely for the challenge of being the one company in Egypt that could meet the GMP standards “We are exporting it to Saudi Arabia and a set by the WHO in 1977. “It became a per. finding its way to enhance its export development.” remembered Dr. when we had met the Protectionist policies from the 1980s GMP standards. The government is now aiming to help them in this regard and change things. Fouad. “We could not meet the demand. from their own research. sonal challenge. which has had a strong currency and focus Exporting is our biggest strategy.” noted Dr.” he recalled. Helmy considers that “playing a TEAM” will really help to enhance the industry. Fouad. the Minister of Health and Population and the Minister of Industry have embarked on a mission to boost the export to US$1 billion for 2011. we are hoping to get some subsidies from the government. A successful company is the result of the human beings that run it. Dr.stage at the moment. Therefore. Dr. Exportation is much easier for Jordan expand our exports to the rest of the world. We were totally oriented towards the local market which was growing rapidly and kept us very busy. Our initial expansion ed by all the authorities in this country.” boasted Dr.helping the growth of both companies. not a strong currency. I believe that in order for the industry to be able to exploit its potential. and I succeeded.” he explained. Fouad. El Gabaly. a product called Vitivera for Vitiligo made from Egyptian aloe vera. trading performance. the industry is at a turning point. In 1980. However. and. the local market will grow considerably.An increasing local market The story of EIPICO.These are promising markets for us.” Ismail concluded. We therefore became experts in the local market. “Egyptian manufacturers have to export their drugs at Egyptian their drugs at Egyptian prices which make it impossible for S7 FOCUS REPORTS DECEMBER 2006 . This strategy was followed by private October Pharmaceuticals.” concluded Dr. we were facing the problem of consumption. as an export incentive. For the moment. According to Dr.” since day one in this strategy. hormones.” them to successfully conduct export activities. only 5% of its profits come EIPICO is today exporting to 42 countries. slimming aids. The challenge of mergers and acquisitions Although the protectionist policies implemented in Egypt in the 1980s and early 90s were the milestone to develop a strong local pharmaceutical industry. and we had to satisfy him. until 1977. with more and more Egyptians covered by health insurance. local industry but limited the country’s The Egyptian pound is. companies should start thinking about mergers and acquisitions. I am will be towards Yemen. “Our local market will be our first priority. So. we will standards are so high. but we are subject to many audits. giving the chance for more people to find work . Borhan El-Din Ismail. and about specializing in certain products. the number one private company in the country. Our staff has many years of experience.” explained Dr. “We saw opportunities in merging and acquiring companies as a growth strategy. Pharco Pharmaceuticals. Sherine Hassan Helmy is proud to recall that his company. whose main lines are cardiology. but October Pharma targets 15% including the UK. our factory is equipped with excellent machinery. in 1962. from export.” he explained. Soon.
the pressure comes mainly from the trans-national companies Courtesy of Sedico The TRIPS agreement came into full effect in Egypt since the 1st of January 2005 Developing WTO countries were given a tenyear transitional period to prepare for the agreement’s full implementation and to incorporate this 20-year patent protection into their own legislation. including Egypt. copyrights and trademarks) to which WTO member countries. things went from bad to worse. “Our hottest issue is TRIPS. Zakaria Gad. which was implemented in the same year. so there is now a cessation for the generic industry because the USA is not the main manufacturer of generics. We are a developing country. The govern. and the only thing we could do to try and compete Will TRIPS force local companies to pack up ? focusing on survival. But. “According to TRIPS.” said Dr. chairman of the Egyptian P h a r m a c i s t S y n d i c a t e . Gad. Mohy Hafez. it has already established three patents. We did not accept that at all. the five largest MNCs and all the innovators are merging to make very large institutes. CEO and general manager of Delta Pharma. ment argues that TRIPS signatories never Mohamed Roushdy. They now control 23% of the R&D turnover in the world. must adhere. not an Egyptian companies are suffering? Nobody. Since then. For local drug makers struggling to come to terms with tighter IPR regulations. except for its articles on patent registration.www. “Ten years was not enough time for us to build up our R & D facilities as this is extremely costly.” Despite being a medium-sized company. Hafez. simply does not have the means to do R&D. There is a lot of pressure on us to cancel this grace period and implement the regulations in the industry. which only came into effect this year. 82 of 2002. as a developing country.” observed Dr. “We are in a real fight with pharma and the trans-nationals. among the 532 manufacturers in Egypt. we have had a grace period of five years.net SPONSORED SUPPLEMENT Egypt Report Bad TRIPs n January 1. which. The 1995 agreement provides worldwide patent protection for new drugs developed by R&D pharmaceutical firms by prohibiting unlicensed rival companies from manufacturing products with identical chemical formulas for a period of 20 years from the date the application is filed. and is strongly focusing on NDDS.” or international one. There are a lot of It is no wonder the Egyptian government problems coming from the USA. Hafez.” According to Dr. Despite Pfizer being one of the first MNCs S8 FOCUS REPORTS DECEMBER 2006 . “Who out of the local inition is strictly a U. Zacaria Gad another five years which is now coming to an end. as its native companies are The pressure of MNC TRIPS set a minimum standard on intellectual property protection (patents.” ensured Dr. Egypt. “ O was developmental research. they protect the molecules in a most unethical way. “Delta Pharma is also putting agreements into place with the research institute in Egypt to find new chemical entities from herbal sources and micro-organisms. Generic drugs in the USA constitute about 52% [of the market].S. “When they produce new chemical entities.Pfizer Middle East.” strongly disagrees with the argument of some multinationals that trade secrets. One new chemical entity could cost up to $200 million to develop. it chooses to emphasize itself in research. law. and then Dr.focusreports. “Our policy is to have a budget available for this.” In his opinion.“TRIPS are already there. and a gathering cessation called Pharma. the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Issues (TRIPS) agreement came into full effect in Egypt. regional director of agreed to data exclusivity and that this def.” said Dr. ranks today as the second fastest growing company of the country. The importance of deregulation undisclosed information and data exclusivity are all one and the same. 2005. Egyptian legislators responded with Intellectual Property Rights Law No.” said Dr.
as it did in the early 1990s. we acquired two local S9 FOCUS REPORTS DECEMBER 2006 . When this happens the economy will boom. If most of its products are number one in all therapeutic segments.focusreports. “As a MNC. Therefore. the “entry fee” today in Egypt is low. its number of products will be limited. “The more awareness we give to patients and educational programs about the risks of these diseases and other serious segments is the way we are going to attain leadership. Geopolitically. the improving of the economy will make the entry fee to the market higher. or to a lesser extent maybe second. on the other hand. we are a stand-alone company. Roushdy. Becoming a center of excellence The GSK strategy of penetrating the Egyptian market was. and the company expects to have the same trend in Egypt for products like Norvasic or even Zoloft. we will certainly be moving toward a market economy. SPONSORED SUPPLEMENT Overall. “Firstly. meaning that the acquisitions we made were with companies that didn't have major franchises in Egypt. Amre Mamdough still struggles to reinforce its position. that in the near future there will be peace in the Middle East soon. Secondly. It is the most vibrant region in the world.net Egypt Report to start manufacturing pharmaceuticals and the fact that it was actually the first USA pharmaceutical company to be established in the country. Dr. “We can gain leadership mainly by creating awareness so that we grow the markets in hypertension. such as cardiovascular or neuroscience. dislipidimia and neuroscience. Roushdy is convinced things will get far better in the country. it is an important and strategic region. In his opinion. and in segments that are underdeveloped. unlike our competitors Sanofi or BMS.” explained Dr.” explained Dr. with strategies like the ones Dr. most economists support the idea that the region could represent 10% of the international trade. and that our medicines need to be accessible to as many people within the community as possible. to acquire stable companies in the country. If we consider. These inconveniences did not prevent Pfizer from targeting a country like Egypt and trying to gain market shares. My advice to my peers is to take the opportunity now. most of our medications are competing in sectors that are underdeveloped or under-diagnosed. Roushdy.” he said. it Dr.www. So. “Later.” Lipitor is indeed the number one product in most of its Middle Eastern markets.” he said. we needed to consider the social-economic dimension of the country. El Gabaly and the new cabinet will put in place. hypothetically. “The Middle East is important no matter what the numbers are.
We asked for small price increases just to compensate the losses.” As explained by Minister El Gabaly. “How do you justify billions of dollars of net profits and then keep 70% of these net profits? Why have pharmaceutical multinational and transnational companies forgotten that the reason for their existence is to provide affordable medicine for every human being on earth?” Sowing the Seeds of Growth Courtesy of Mepaco “ gypt has all the skills to manufacture effective and good quality drugs. the manpower is very competitive.” explained Amre Mamdouh. “If we see the total market. replace conventional pharmaceuticals. no in-depth study of their curative properties was ever done. Gad. “We are serving 70 million patients. for example. “MEPACO was developed for the purpose of being a medicinal plant pharmaceutical company.” said Dr. we are deeply involved in developing medication. This gives them little incentive to invest in discovering more creative drugs. focusing on people. R&D drug companies are unable to recover their costs. we provide true value to the company as a whole. At the end of the day. “Herbal medicines are coming back because the efficacy of conventional medicines is on the wane. However. “For centuries. then manufacture a copycat product. the challenge of research will certainly prove decisive in the years to come. Mamdouh is very clear: “Pricing by MNC is not exaggerated. Egypt is one of the lowest in the SPONSORED SUPPLEMENT world. Herbal medicines definitely stand among them. according to Mamdouh. Ahmed Kelani.net Egypt Report companies in order to develop their portfolio to international standards. they decided to develop a medical plant to cover this area.focusreports. Companies have to start catching up. and we are also providing solutions for eight out of ten diseases. “All these criteria indicate that Egypt could be a center of excellence regarding export. he thinks they deserve a better position. people used plants for medication. Kelani. By providing true value to a country. well-tolerated remedies The country has very accurately decided to compensate these weaknesses by occupying niche markets.” ensured Dr. “We are not only developing food supplements and vitamins. Herbal medicines will never. such as the Egyptian Pharmacist Syndicate.” noted Dr. well-tolerated remedies for chronic illness. only a few players will be able to really go global. and we reinject the profits that make into R&D. cancer and AIDS requires an enormous investment of time and money.” There are many advantages of producing medicines in Egypt as. chairman and managing director of MEPACO. Like Pfizer. rather than to just to 10%. Growing success for herbal medicine Providing safe. chairman and managing director of GSK Egypt. E Developing new treatments for influenza. Research and development drug companies claim they spend up to 15 years and between $800 million and $1 billion to develop one new molecule that can be used to make a new drug or drug component. 3000 patients are benefiting from our medicines in one way or another. MEPACO has covered more that 20 different therapeutic classes. because without R&D the pharmaceutical industry has no future. and the medicines had therefore not been standardized. Kelani.www. Regarding the polemic issue of the pricing by MNC. as a complementary medicine.” Today. they have state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities and the cost of manufacturing is quite low in comparison to the West. “The net profit of these multinational companies is much too high. because the conventional drug was showing side effects. in his view. The company's vision is to tackle the market according to therapeutic classes needs . They often provide safe. Yet it costs next to nothing for a company to reverse engineer a drug to identify its components. the technical abilities are very good. “Every minute.” These arguments don't convince all Egyptian institutions. In this case.along with other strategies of introducing new products. but what is lacking here are marketing and R&D skills. we .” claims Dr. rationalizing expenses and reducing the cost of manufacturing. This was part of its key success . From a pricing perspective.” explained Mamdouh. As a result.” he summed up. There are still a lot of diseases that cannot yet be treated even though we are in the 21st century. we can provide medicines at all price ranges to 100% of the population. and companies like MEPACO have S11 FOCUS REPORTS DECEMBER 2006 developed formulas from the medicinal plants and have standardized them as per GMP requirements. But. the leader in the sector since its appearance 16 years ago.meaning that for arthritis. seeking commercial excellence. because if they don’t. the story is different. it was necessary for a company such as GSK to have a subsidiary in Egypt.
Thus. with roots dating back to 1935. Eva Pharma. Hence it invests in the research and development of highprofile pharmaceuticals products and innovative delivery systems. a greater focus should be put on research. We are taking something that has been given for free by God . which will be introduced into the market following clinical trials.www. streptokinase. we are working in close collaboration with other developing countries like China. is looking forward to become one of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in the country. the patients are more used to chemicals and they are not aware that herbal medicines are an excellent option to help in chronic diseases and acute cases. Ibrahim Abouleish. glucosamine and dropropizine. “I welcome this kind of cooperation. We can see developed countries are trying to do the same. chairman of SEKEM Holding. a group like SEDICO. It also extracts new acids. efficient in terms of helping to cure an important disease. “the biggest hurdle is that physicians are not very well aware of herbal medicines and they are not used to prescribing these kinds of drugs. for instance. Regarding the production of APIs. “Eva Pharma is not focused on NCE like the class A companies that can spend millions of dollars on R&D. Eva Pharma fulfills a shortage in disease areas not adequately addressed by its main competitors in the country. “We lost track of time. therefore we have to train them. This has made us explore and improve our capacity in this segment. The main problem is creating awareness of how important the herbal medicine could be as a complement to conventional medicine regarding intensive healthcare.” explained Dr. To Professor Dr. urokinase and growth hormone. “There are other ways.and developing the know-how. an inhibitor for the management of dry cough. This could be the hope for our country. “Today we can see how small. Always looking ahead. chairman and managing director of SEDICO. don't even represent 10%.” regrets Dr. aprotinin. “As we do not have all the expertise. amongst others.” The implementation of these complementary medicines might take time to change mentalities and sweep away prejudices. another option could be biotechnology.net SPONSORED SUPPLEMENT Egypt Report player will be to merge with an MNC or with a generic American or European company to help them penetrate the other markets. We take advantage of mother nature to extract API from the plants to make effective drugs. Just as MEPACO. Of course to accomplish such projects.focusreports.” he hoped. is conducting studies to extract insulin out of maize. a genius that comes out with an efficient product. Ahmed Aly Aboul Enein. has decided to enter the biotech club by doing insulin. producing niche bulk drugs. it seems that Egypt has difficulties in equaling countries like India or China. we didn't take the right pace of speed.and medium-sized companies are being very successful in this segment. Mounir Armanious. On the other hand. its niche strategy was to explore and isolate single entities from natural products that might serve as leads for new pharmaceuticals and which might address therapeutical needs. It is famous for using Egyptian plants that have been known for centuries. they were the first to introduce thiotic acid for the management of diabetic neuropathy. “We ventured into this domain because it is the trend of the industry. already considered as the pioneers in producing insulin with their own R&D. like aloe vera and ferns. I don't think this is enough.” explained Dr. chairman of Eva Pharma. Already ranking 13th as per IMS and one of the fastest growing companies in the industry. and we can't afford to lag behind.” he said. like ours.” Taking advantage of mother nature These misconceptions did not prevent a group like Eva Pharma from investing a big sum to produce their own molecules from medicinal plants.” The issue of biotechnology Egypt hasn't been characterized so far by its biotechnology activities. India and Korea. a group of nine companies.” Eva Pharma considers the only feasible option for an Egyptian S12 FOCUS REPORTS DECEMBER 2006 . The USA. which today have the capacity to come out with new APIs almost every day. Armanious.” he explained. Herbal medicine should be at least 30% of the market. “In Egypt. To catch up.medicinal plants .
this segment is set to continue outperforming the total pharmaceutical market and is assumed to reach $100 billion by the end of the decade. executive vice president of S14 FOCUS REPORTS DECEMBER 2006 . which is currently valued at $50 billion.www. We have to join forces to make a strong Egyptian pharmaceutical industry.” concluded Dr.” he said. El Bardissi. which are mostly located in the developing countries.” he claimed. “There is no place for small players in the industry. Moldova. “The whales are joining together to make a dinosaur. Last year we made $10 million.” Rhein-Minapharm Biogenetics. a great window of opportunity is opening in our home market and regionally. has been growing at an impressive compound annual growth rate of 20% over the previous five years. together with the need for the target therapeutic proteins. Dr. This can't go on. Aboul Enein pleads for the merger of all players in order to become recognizable. to our belief. Mounir Armanious that the global market for biopharmaceuticals. “We are paying special attention to the exports. They are under final registration in Romania. Morocco and Turkey. a joint-venture between German Rhein biotech and Minapharm. El Bardissi. have accelerated the process of registration and pricing until market launch.focusreports. SEDICO has been proven successful by managing to export insulin to Yemen and the Emirates. With the globalization. has been able to introduce a biogenetics line in the Middle East. The multinational companies merge to make a super dinosaur and swallow the small fish. “The credibility of our joint-venture model and our state-of-the art facilities. who recalls Dr.” explained Dr. We have successfully launched three therapeutic proteins already and. “This early establishment of our Egyptian German biopharmaceutical partnership confirmed our timely embarkation on recombinant DNA technologies.net SPONSORED SUPPLEMENT Egypt Report “We take advantage of mother nature to extract API from the plants to make effective drugs” Minapharm Pharmaceuticals. With over one-third of all pipeline products in active development being biopharmaceuticals. This year we are expecting to double these numbers.
S15 FOCUS REPORTS DECEMBER 2006 . This year. “Customer satisfaction is our number one objective and we continually examine our business process management and deploy necessary resources to meet that goal. 2005. distribution of pharmaceuticals. 1. It comprises 108 branches and depots. Omar is willing to export his success and is looking for opportunities abroad: “Now that I have a solid business in Egypt.focusreports. Novartis. Hossam Omar “What put me ahead of my peers is that very early I realized that distribution was one of the pillars for a successful industry. we are ready to go global.9 billion (U$500 millions) in annual sales for the year ending December 31.” Since being established. healthcare centers and units throughout Egypt supplying their requirements from pharmaceuticals. Omar a certificate of appreciation and a gold medal for his role as a pioneer and for his contribution to drug distribution development in Egypt. Leveraging our market leadership in Egypt and the strategic partnership with Hedef Alliance. I am looking to go beyond the borders.246 sales representatives and more than 800 distribution vehicles. Now. paramedical and family planning devices. Its core business includes import. The group has issued more than eight million invoices in 2005. GlaxoSmithKline. The Egyptian pharmacists syndicate has awarded Dr. 700 hospitals. United Group distribution network is fully computerized and equipped with comprehensive Oracle Dr. technology-based management and financial services.” The self-made professional who started his career with the production of cosmetics added. pharmacists in Egypt were suffering. Moreover. United provides intensive direct coverage to more than 29. since they lack the business model as we have. the group's pharmaceutical wholesale arm. Hossam Omar.000 square meters of warehousing facilities. “I am proud to say that. our size is more than three times our closest privately owned competitor. I will put a foot in Algeria and maybe in Saudi Arabia where we have high expectations. This makes us the undisputed leader in the healthcare marketplace.net SPONSORED SUPPLEMENT Egypt Report Distribution : Follow the Leader “ hen the Chairman of Middle East Chemicals (MEC). Each pharmaceutical company catered for the needs of pharmacies around the country from their own factories in Cairo and Alexandria and. has now 50% stake in UCP (United Company for Pharmacists). Now that we have established a European partnership. Sanofi-Aventis. a consortium between Alliance Boots (UK) and Hedef (Turkey). Servier and Schering.” he said. including Bristol-Myers Squibb. Dr. with approximately EGP2.” Dr. more than 80. Lilly. as well as marketing. they had to call in person at the state-owned pharmaceutical distribution center and wait in long lines for their turn to collect their needs. pharmaceutical outlets had to wait for more than one month to take delivery of their orders. United Group has developed strategic alliances with fortune pharmaceutical companies. Every week. consequently. and 40.www.2% market share of pharmaceutical's distribution market. “We are very proud that we now belong to this international conglomerate. Over the past 30 years.” recalled Dr. Omar noted. Hedef Alliance. these companies are known as United Group employs more than 5.000 pharmacies. it was a sector that nobody had paid attention to. and was the most problematic area in the industry. Dr. Omar has database systems.400 persons. Pfizer. started his private business. the manufacturing of personal care products. “Paradoxically. Omar. Dr. Omar emphasised.” Dr. W maintained a successful strategy of creating new companies falling within the sphere of his business interests. pharmaceutical retailing.
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