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Hikma dominates Jordan’s pharmaceutical market

Jordan: Wednesday, July 16 - 2008 @ 10:43

Jordan’s pharmaceutical market is expected to grow 10% year-on-year over the next five years, according to a report by Ireland-based Research and Markets.

The market should reach around $540m by 2012, up from an estimated $336m in 2007.

The kingdom’s strong population growth, which should exceed 2.8% year-on-year, will drive market expansion, the report said, as will strong GDP growth, which is expected to be around 5% in real terms for the forecast period.

Hikma takes market lead

In December 2007, Hikma strengthened its position as Jordan’s largest pharmaceutical company with the acquisition of Arab Pharmaceutical Manufacturing – which was third in the country by sales.

Dar Al Dawa, which has the second-largest share of Jordan’s drug market – now has less than half of Hikma’s market share.

Overall, Hikma, which sells and markets generic drugs and injectable products in 40 countries, made four company acquisitions and acquired several new products in 2007.

It entered Egypt, which is the fastest growing and second-largest market in the region, through the acquisition of Alkan Pharma, which is now Hikma Egypt.

Acquiring Jordan-based Arab Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (APM) increased Hikma’s presence in Saudi Arabia, as APM gets 37% of its sales from KSA.

Hikma also entered the injectable oncology market through the acquisitions of Ribosepharm and Thymoorgan in Germany.

In 2007, Hikma also launched 28 new products, received 167 approvals across all sectors and geographies, and submitted 74 regulatory filings in Jordan, the US and Europe alone.

One of the key drivers for Hikma’s recent success was its listing on the London Stock Exchange in November 2005, according to Hana Ramadan, Hikma’s Director of Corporate Communications.

‘Being listed on the LSE was by all measures worth the transition, allowing Hikma to have access to enough capital to make $300m worth of acquisitions in only six months, opening the doors to the overwhelming growth in recent years,’ Ramadan says.

In 2007, the company’s total revenue increased by 41.6% to $448.8m, and it expects total revenue growth of between 35% and 40% this year, spurred by strong growth in the Middle East and North Africa.

Challenges and opportunities abound

Operating a pharmaceutical company in the Middles East can be challenging, Ramadan says.

Brand promotion is especially difficult, and companies face additional obstacles due to fragmented regulatory procedures, preferential treatment for local producers, and a perception that generic drugs are low-quality.

On the other hand, the region is witnessing a revolution as governments are promoting the development of the private healthcare market and are making private health insurance for expatriates mandatory.

Evidence of the region’s increasing commitment to healthcare can be seen in many areas.

In Jordan, three public hospitals were recently constructed, and four more hospitals are underway, as well as 50 healthcare centres.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is actively encouraging the expansion of health services in the private sector and has approved loans for the construction of private hospitals and multi-disciplinary health facilities.

Besides increased government spending on healthcare, other factors that are boosting the region’s pharmaceutical industry include population growth, increasing affluence, a more stable pricing environment, and lower manufacturing costs, Ramadan noted.

See also
Jordan country guide

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Wednesday, July 16- 2008 @ 10:43 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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