RIYADH: A significant rise in lifestyle-related diseases and the developments in health care infrastructure will influence the demand for pharmaceuticals in Saudi Arabia that will reach about SR19.5 billion this year in cumulative cost.

This will represent a growth of 6 percent in the total procurement of pharmaceuticals in the Kingdom this year compared to 2015.
“The mounting demand for branded drugs will continue to incite the growth of the Saudi pharmaceutical market,” said the latest report released by the London-based “Future Market Insights” (FMI), a premium provider of market intelligence and consulting services. The FMI has been serving thousands of corporate houses and clients in over 150 countries including the Gulf states.
Referring to the growing demand for medicines of all types, the report said that that “the demand for pharmaceuticals is also owing to the increasing penetration of health insurance companies and the rising incidence rate of non-communicable diseases.” Furthermore, the exceptional rise in the per capita income of Saudi Arabia is also expected to foster the demand for branded drugs, it added.
The report further said that the Saudi market is expected to expand at 9 percent year-on-year over the forecast period 2016-2026. “In terms of market value, the pharmaceutical market in Saudi Arabia is estimated to be worth SR46 billion by the end of forecast period,” said the report, which explains the long-term outlook of the local pharmaceutical market.
Another key factor driving the growth of the pharmaceutical market is the Kingdom’s strategic move to allow 100 percent FDI in the pharmaceuticals sector, said the FMI report. Moreover, the pharmaceutical market in Saudi Arabia is expected to witness an upsurge in the prescription-type branded drug products based on the product type. Also, the demand for generic drugs is projected to secure steady growth.
On the prevalence of diseases that will increase the consumption of more drugs in the Kingdom, the report said that the pharmaceuticals used for treatment of cardiovascular diseases will continue exhibiting robust growth during the current year. Additionally, the rising prevalence of disorders related to body sugar levels is expected to make diabetes a rapidly growing disease-based sub-segment in the Saudi market.
Referring to the market shares grabbed by local pharmacies, the report said that the market is segmented on the basis of distribution channels, where retail pharmacies will continue to account for an 80 percent market share, compared to hospital pharmacies. The westernized modernization of retail pharmacies in Saudi Arabia has also led to the availability of a wide range of drugs and medicinal products now available.
“In order to expand the market’s size, structuring alliances with well-established native companies is predicted to be a key strategy for global pharmaceutical leaders,” said the report, adding that the key players in Saudi pharmaceutical market include Novartis AG, SPIMACO, Pfizer Inc., and Glaxosmithkline plc., Jamjoom Pharma, and Tabuk Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Co., among others.