Saudi Arabia represents 65% of GCC pharmaceutical market

Saudi represents 65% of the $2.7bn GCC pharmaceutical market, annually valued at an estimated $1.7bn, with this in mind, the first 3PL provider within the GCC, Pharma World Holdings, aims to improve access for manufacturers in the region.

Pharma World Holdings is establishing a distribution and warehousing hub at the JAFZA free zone, just outside of Dubai, which will offer logistical services never before seen in the region.

They see their new facility as a way of opening up the KSA market to more manufacturers and improve profitability Of the $1.7bn KSA market, therapeutic classes make up 80% and, when broken down, systematic hormones make up $291m of this figure; Alimentary T & Metabolism make up $260m; respiratory system make up $162m; G.U.System & sex hormones make up US$145M; nervous system make up $128m; cardio system make up $121m and musculo-skeletal system make up $111m.

Maher Kheder, Business Development Group Director, Pharma World Holdings says: 'These figures only represent the private market, excluding tender business - very encouraging for manufacturers looking to get into the area. 'Imports represent 80-85% of the Saudi market, which is growing astronomically.

The beauty of the Pharma World Holdings business model is that it allows manufacturers to enjoy better distribution, with less administration and more cost efficiency - it's win win.' The newly established firm brings a track record of KSA-specific expertise to the region being a 50/50 venture between Banaja International Group and UAE based Ithmar Capital Fund I. Banaja International Group is the affiliate responsible for the international associations and investments across the MENA region including those ties with the Saudi Import Company, Banaja, one of the leading Saudi based distributors in the Middle East with a heritage of over 60 years in the healthcare market.

The company represents some of the most well-known multinational pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, and has successfully achieved breakthrough objectives since its inception including the attainment of a class 'A' Certification for its Distribution Resource Planning (DRP) system; the only company in the Middle East to achieve such certification.

Ithmar Capital is a UAE-based regional private equity specialist, which targets exceptional growth capital and buyout opportunities throughout the GCC region and overseas, provided the GCC region represents a strategic market for the overseas companies.

Pharma World Holdings provide a one-stop 3PL offering for international as well as local manufacturers. Their purpose-designed IT technology makes them capable of supporting business critical operations of a modern fulfillment centre by providing a complete, end-to-end logistics solution to manage complex and demanding operations from order inception to order shipping.

Additionally, the company can handle the return inventory levels and provide outsourcing support for all distribution associated requirements. Kheder concludes: 'The traditional model of distribution meant foreign manufacturers would supply products through distributors who place and receive orders directly from principal manufacturing facilities.'

'This model lacks flexibility and efficiency for principals and means that they need to find a distributor with excellent regional knowledge to optimize the process. Pharma world aims to bridge this gap between global manufactures and Saudi health care organizations.'

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