CPhI Istanbul Discuss MENA Trends for 2016

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At the conference, industry experts discussed regional trends and challenges for the Middle East and North Africa for 2016.

At the CPhI Istanbul conference, which took place from June 1–3, 2016, pharmaceutical executives and experts discussed Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regional trends and challenges for 2016. The conference brought together more than 4465 attendees and hosted buyers from countries including Jordan, Iran, Lebanon, India, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey.

A CPhI report, released during the event, indicated that the Turkish pharma economy has grown by 15.6% in the past year to reach 15.9 billion lira, CPhI said in a press announcement. Over the next five years, CPhI noted, experts forecast that regional outsourcing will continue to accelerate as governments seek to have more medicine produced locally.

CPhI also indicated that third-party manufacturing is forecasted to expand in the MENA region. Many companies do not want to have established assets everywhere, therefore decreasing the burden of headcount and direct exposure is important, especially if demand and volumes are not reaching the critical mass to have owned assets. Third-party manufacturing is the preferred option for multinationals and small- to mid-size enterprises looking to enter the market.

Moreover, as emerging contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) become established, investments across advanced technologies and biotechnology will increase. Ultimately, the next five years should also bring increased regional harmonization of regulatory standards and help nurture a regional exports market.

According to CPhI, recent trends in standards have seen an increasing number of manufacturers adopt cGMP, operational excellence (OPEX), and Lean strategies, with the main manufacturing bases located in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, and Iran. Experts warned that for the region to reach its full potential, a number of challenges needed to be overcome. While manufacturing standards are now reaching cGMP, they are often not yet ready for European Medicines Agency (EMA) or FDA approval.


The view is that some of the newer technologies are not available regionally, with a knock-on effect of reducing local sector experience. However, with increased investment and government support, companies are now addressing existing gaps in their manufacturing and infrastructure.

Pharma representatives acknowledged that there is strong basic infrastructure and knowledge for the manufacture of solid and liquid medicines in MENA, CPhI said in a press announcement. However, manufacturing cost per unit is still high due to not reaching a critical mass of production, outside of generic-drug companies.

Source: CPhI