GCC countries must leverage global healthcare solutions to manage chronic diseases, and meet the needs of a rapidly growing and aging population, according to a leading Spanish pharmaceutical company based in the UAE, Cinfa.
Chronic diseases like heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes are spreading across the Middle East, caused by factors such as an aging population, sedentary lifestyle, diet changes, and rising obesity, according to the recent Deloitte report “2014 Global Health Care Outlook: Shared Challenges, Shared Opportunities.”
With the GCC’s population expected to grow by five percent year-on-year through 2020, aging residents 45 years and older are at higher risk of developing chronic lifestyle diseases, according to Deloitte. In response, the Middle East and Africa is set to be the world’s fastest-growing region for healthcare spending, rising 10 percent per year.
“Managing chronic lifestyle diseases requires an integrated healthcare approach, and GCC governments must continue their progress in leveraging leading global medical solutions to the unique needs of their residents,” said Khalid Amin, Regional Director in the UAE for Cinfa, the Spanish pharmaceutical company that recently marked one year of UAE operations with plans to expand further in the GCC.
Enhancing standards and diversifying their economies, GCC governments are heavily investing in technological advancements, healthcare awareness, smaller healthcare clinics and ambulatory centres, and medical tourism. The GCC’s healthcare market is projected to grow from USD 39.4 billion in 2013 to USD 69.4 billion by 2018, according to the 2014 Alpen Capital “GCC Healthcare Industry Report.”
UAE: The Region’s Healthcare Leader
The UAE is the region’s healthcare leader, hosting the GCC’s highest annual medicine sales per capita and the GCC’s second-largest pharmaceuticals market, according to the 2013 Alpen Capital report “GCC Pharmaceutical Industry.” Continuing the momentum, the Dubai Health Authority recently launched a mandatory health insurance policy for all residents, with full compliance mandated by 2016.
“It can be challenging for GCC residents to manage their chronic diseases, because often an unhealthy lifestyle can lead to multiple issues, each with its own treatment options,” added Amin. “In response, we’re dedicated to offering our GCC customers great choice in affordable and effective pharmaceutical solutions that meet strict European quality standards.”
Over the past year, Cinfa has launched solutions for high cholesterol, hypertension, and infections. In the coming months, Cinfa plans to launch treatments for asthma, gastrointestinal therapy, hypertension, and infective and acute diseases.
Cinfa is present in 50 countries worldwide, and since launching in the UAE in April 2013, the company has already doubled its UAE-based staff.
Rola Abu Hassan
Wallis Marketing Consultants
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