Egypt’s academic institutions can develop pharmaceutical industry: Higher education minister

Rasha Sadek , Saturday 16 Oct 2021

Egypt's Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar said the country's academic institutions, universities, and research centres can play a pivotal role in developing the pharmaceutical industry, producing effective pharmaceutical ingredients, and achieving self-sufficiency.

Al-Ahram Pharmaceutical Conference (APC)
Al-Ahram Pharmaceutical Conference (APC) on Saturday (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Abdel-Ghaffar made the remarks at the second edition of Al-Ahram Pharmaceutical Conference (APHC), held on 16 and 17 October under the patronage of Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly, the chairmanship of Mahmoud El-Metini, the president of Ain Shams University, and the honourary presidency of Ashraf Hatem, the head of the parliamentary Health Committee.

Presenting practical solutions to the challenges facing the Egyptian pharmaceutical industry, over the conference’s nine sessions, are Finance Minister Mohamed Maait, Higher Education Minister Abdel-Ghaffar, presidential adviser for health affairs Mohamed Awad Tageddin, governors, officials, and representatives of drug and medical supply companies in Egypt and abroad.

During the opening speech, Chairman of the Board of Al-Ahram Establishment Abdel-Mohsen Salama said President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stated that Egypt will be a regional hub for drug manufacturing.

The mega pharmaceutical city Egypt inaugurated is key to providing quality treatment to Egyptians from all walks of life and exporting medicines to Africa and the Middle East through cooperation with international companies, Salama added.

Chief Editor of Al-Ahram AlaaThabet said Egyptians have been aspiring to localise the drug industry for decades. “The pharmaceutical sector is vital” for the national economy, he stated.

Tageddin, for his part, lauded the role of Al-Ahram in organising the APHC at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is taking its toll the world over, wreaking havoc on the economic, financial, and health sectors of every country.

During the conference, Tageddin reviewed the Egyptian efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus, saying that Egypt had taken pre-emptive steps to contain the crisis.

Tamer Essam, the president of the Egyptian Medicines Authority, said Egypt is paving the groundwork for a strategy for the pharmaceutical sector meant primarily to offer quality treatment for Egyptians.

Egypt’s Vision 2030 comprises a comprehensive series of plans for better infrastructure, roads, utilities, legislation, and media, Essam added, pointing out that it is necessary for investors and industrialists to formulate a vision to implement projects that contribute to Egypt’s growth.

Bahaaeddin Zeidan, the president of the Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement, said on the first day of the conference that Egypt has taken tangible steps to localise the pharmaceutical industry, including forming a committee comprising all the authorities concerned to lay out a roadmap for the mass production of medicines in Egypt. The strategy will be based on the vision of the political leadership to overhaul the healthcare system in the country and cooperate with regional and international entities towards this end.

Hatem, of the parliamentary Health Committee, said the APHC’s first edition, held in 2019, was the main reason for issuing Law 214 on clinical trials last year, pointing out the law will become effective once its executive regulations are released.

The first edition of the pharmaceutical conference formed a committee to follow up on the implementation of its work programme, vision, and recommendations in cooperation with Egypt's  Ministry of Health.  

Moreover, the Standing Committee of participants in the conference submitted the recommendations of the first edition to the concerned authorities who were tasked with following up on their implementation as part of a continuing dialogue and interaction between all parties involved.

The Standing Committee plans to work on implementing the recommendations of the second edition in a similar manner.

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