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Pharma partnership aims to accelerate supply of medicines to UAE market

Pharma partnership aims to accelerate supply of medicines to UAE market

Multinational firm GlaxoSmithKline has teamed up with UAE-based Neopharma in a bid to speed up supply

A new partnership between global healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline and UAE-based pharmaceutical firm Neopharma will localise production of high-demand medicine brands, speeding up supply to the UAE market

GSK and Neopharma’s partnership was announced on Monday, establishing Neopharma as GSK’s third-party manufacturer for handling the ‘secondary packaging’ process (the final manufacturing stage) for six of the global company’s most in-demand medicine brands in the UAE.

By localising production, GSK will be able to procure, package and supply those medications more quickly to the UAE market, read a press release by Neopharma, as well as enabling a more efficient response to any potential supply gaps.

The partnership was announced as a ceremony held at the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi, officiated by the British Ambassador to the UAE, Patrick Moody, GSK’s general manager in the Gulf, Sameh Elfangary, and founder and chairman of Neopharma, Dr BR Shetty.

Also in attendance were Khalfan Al Suwaidi, industrial property director at the Ministry of Economy, and Dr Ola Ghaleb Al Ahdab, pharmaceutical advisor at the drug department of the Ministry of Health and Prevention.

“I am very proud to see the commitment of one of our most important UK innovator Pharma companies to the UAE vision,” said Moody at the ceremony.

“This will solidify important partnerships working with the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention. This links the strategies and development visions of both countries, especially the objectives of the UAE Vision 2021, which aims to strengthen the status of the country as a major commercial and logistical hub in the region, and the UK’s Industrial Strategy and Export Strategy, which aims to strengthen the UK’s position as a global exporter”.

Elfangary confirmed that the collaboration will be fully operational by early 2020 in the UAE, and said that “this operation will help ensure continuity in supply and improved patient access to GSK medicines in the market”. He also said that GSK is “already exploring possibilities for expansion plans within the next two years”.

Dr Shetty added: “It is a landmark to have a collaboration with another leading innovator company such as GSK as a partner. We have become a partner of choice for MNCs (multinational corporations) over a period of time, which reaffirms Neopharma’s commitment to maintain global quality and manufacturing standards that are compliant to stringent regulatory requirements.”

The partnership is the latest step in the UAE’s plan to become a pharmaceutical manufacturing hub in the region. In 2017, the Ministry of Health announced plans to increase the number of pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities to 30 by 2020 – up from 16 in 2017, with the Gulf’s pharma sector expected to almost double in value from $13.9bn in 2018 to $25.7bn in 2028, according to Fitch Solutions.

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