UAE-based pharmaceutical company Julphar announced that it has signed a five-year licensing deal with global healthcare provider MSD (Merck in the US and Canada).
Under the agreement, Julphar will have exclusive rights to produce, market, distribute and sell certain MSD medicines in UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Iraq, the company said in a statement.
The UAE pharmaceutical company will manufacture some MSD products for the first time in this region, including therapies for diabetes, asthma, allergy, pain and inflammation.
Both companies will seek the relevant authorities’ prior approvals on registration and production of the products locally, the statement added.
Ramsey Morad, VP, MSD for the Middle East region, said: “Our partnership with Julphar means stronger focus on innovative ways to address critical diseases, a closer connection with current and potential customers, and a region-wide focus on their healthcare needs.”
Dr. Ayman Sahli, CEO, Julphar, added: “Manufacturing locally high-quality medications will enhance accessibility and create greater value for all our stakeholders.”
Ras Al Khaimah- based Julphar has been rapidly building up operations to address the increasing prevalence of diseases such as diabetes and asthma in the region. The company, which currently has over 800 products, is the first Middle Eastern firm to produce the raw material needed to make insulin.
Healthcare is one of the key industries for regional governments, with the GCC healthcare market projected to reach $43.9 billion in 2015, according to Alpen Capital.
A report earlier this year by Ernst & Young also found that healthcare spending in the Gulf is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 11.4 per cent from 2010 to 2015.
The report attributed the hike to the region’s growing population, rising income levels, increased prevalence of lifestyle diseases, high demand for quality healthcare and mandatory health insurance policies.