Al-Ahram s Pharmaceutical Conference (APHC) (Photo: Ahram)
Mamdouh’s remarks came during the first day of the second round of Al-Ahram’s Pharmaceutical Conference (APHC) held in Cairo on 16 and 17 October.
The conference, comprising nine sessions, is held under the patronage of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.
Mamdouh was speaking during the session titled “Strategic Partnership with International Companies and the Role of Egypt’s Medicine City.”
He said the road to localising the pharmaceutical industry begins with putting in place mechanisms for strategic partnerships with global firms.
Egypt is one of the key pharmaceutical markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, representing 16 per cent of the MENA market, said Mohamed Mostafa, Ego Pharmaceuticals’ regional director for Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
The ranking of Egypt is set to advance in the pharmaceutical market from the 30th to the 21st spot by 2025. The country is expected to record the highest growth in MENA as well, he added.
Medicine City is meant to achieve drug security and produce effective and safe medicines. It is also being prepped to become a regional hub for international companies and to venture into biotechnological industries, Mostafa stated.
Yousri Nawwar, Pfizer’s country manager for Egypt and Sudan and head of the Egyptian Society for Drug Production and Research (ESDPR) spoke at the conference about the opportunities and challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry in Egypt and the localisation of drug manufacturing.
Nawwar said that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stressed the importance of developing the drug industry to support Egypt’s Vision 2030. The pharmaceutical industry is not an ambitious economic target only, but the strong defence line for the public’s health, which is one of the main goals of the presidential Decent Life initiative.
The ESDPR comprises 22 international pharmaceutical companies operating in Egypt. It seeks to consolidate the strategic partnership with the concerned authorities and various pharmaceutical sectors to help the Egyptian market receive and use modern and innovative treatments.
The coronavirus, he added, has posed as the incentive for leading pharmaceutical companies based on scientific research to cooperate. At present, 4,100 medicines are being developed and researched to combat communicable and non-communicable diseases, Nawwar stated.
The ESDPR is committed to working with government authorities to effect policies and draft legislation to develop the pharmaceutical industry, he noted.
Gypto Pharma was not constructed with the aim of monopolising the drug industry, explained BahaaZeidan, the president of the Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement. Rather, it is meant to facilitate the work of pharmaceutical companies functioning in Egypt.
Zeidan stressed that if international drug companies want to produce medicines in Egypt, Gypto Pharma will offer them all the facilities and support possible.
Egypt is currently working on constructing six internationally credited storage facilities to secure the country’s needs of drugs and medical supplies, he added.
Zeidan revealed that Egypt will organise in June 2022 a conference and exhibition on healthcare in MENA. The event will serve as a meeting point for African countries, that want to exhibit their medical capabilities and their needs, and international companies. The conference will be held under the sponsorship of President El-Sisi.
Ramez Mohsen, head of Janssen Egypt, owned by Johnson & Johnson, said the drug industry requires large, long-term investments.
He said there are many investment opportunities in Egypt in the medical field due to the large population, the big number of public and private hospitals, the scientific research law, and the massive support the state extends to investors.