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Julphar Thriving On Gulf’s Demand For Medicines

Julphar Thriving On Gulf’s Demand For Medicines

Julphar has invested heavily to feed the growing needs of the GCC’s healthcare market and ensure sustainable supply of medicines to the region.

UAE pharmaceutical giant Julphar is tapping into the surging demand for medicines in the local market and wider MENA region by easing their accessibility.

“The major issue in the region is accessibility and availability of medicines,” said Dr Ayman Sahli, CEO of Julphar.

“Demand is huge and healthcare providers are struggling to make sure that a product is available on every shelf.”

The local pharmaceutical giant, whose sales turnover touched Dhs1.18 billion last year, announced that it is on track to achieve its projected sales target by the end of this year.

“Julphar will match the sales forecast we put in earlier this year which is between Dhs1.35 to 1.4 billion,” said GVG Krishna, CFO of Julphar.

The firm, also known as Gulf Pharmaceutical Company, is the largest manufacturer and distributor of pharmaceuticals in the MENA region. It was developed in 1980 in Ras Al Khaimah and produces around 211 branded products.

As a local pharma company, Julphar has been making headway in producing drugs vital to the growing local market.

“Every year we are obligated to offer 10 new products and we have been doing that for the last two years,” said Dr Sahli.

“So whenever a product is patented we take that, process and manufacture it at Julphar and make it accessible to our region at a cheaper price.”

As a part of its on-going expansion of its portfolio to include more drugs, Julphar opened a $180 million plant in September last year that manufactures raw crystals which is used to produce insulin.

The facility has a production capacity of 1500 kilograms of insulin or up to 40 million vials a year. Julphar is the fifth largest insulin producer in the world and the only manufacturer for the drug in the Middle East.

“There are three main (insulin) manufacturers in the world and it is extremely difficult to get into this space,” said Joseph Saldanha, general manager, Julphar Diabetes.

They are able to supply lot of what the world needs so when we recognised that four of the top ten diabetic countries are in the Middle East, we felt that it was a good place to invest.”

With the new plant in operation, Julphar said that it has been able to offer insulin at an affordable price in the region while selling crystals to other manufacturers across the world.

Currently Julphar supplies insulin to 14 countries around the world and is looking to expand in markets across Asia with a special focus on Philippines, Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The local pharma giant also said that it would continue to focus on producing medicines for chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and kidney dialysis owing to the strong demand in the region.

“If you look at the broader map of the medicine, there are so many opportunities for manufacturing. There are many therapeutic areas we are yet to enter,” said Dr Sahli.

“Julphar will continue to beef up the production lines in these therapeutic products.”

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