Saudi Arabia, one of the largest pharmaceutical markets in the Middle East region, is forecast to expand by 4.7 percent a year to reach $4.7 billion by 2016, Deloitte said in its report entitled “2013 global life sciences outlook: Optimism tempered by reality in a ‘new normal’”.
It said among specific market segments, pharmaceuticals accounted for $798 billion in market revenue in 2011; and biotechnology accounted for $289 billion.
The Deloitte report also closely examines the current state of the global life sciences industry and the top issues facing stakeholders, with focus on the GCC. It indicates that the GCC States, which include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, comprise a dynamic life sciences and health care market, due to their growing and aging population and increasing total health care expenditures per capita.
“To grow in this challenging climate, the life sciences industry is transitioning away from a primary-care, small-molecule-driven sales model, toward targeting specialist secondary care indications. Two practices we are witnessing are the use of high-value biologic therapies in the developed markets, as well as marketing branded and off-patent medicines in the fast-growing emerging markets, including the Middle East countries,” said Herve Ballantyne, healthcare industry leader, Deloitte Middle East. “Cost savings facilitated by mergers and acquisitions are also set to bolster profits.”
The GCC population is expected to continue growing at five percent year-on-year, driven mainly by the influx of expatriates to the region, according to the report. While the dominant age group is estimated to be the 30-44 year old group, the 45-65 and 65+ age groups are expected to grow cumulatively by an average of six percent between 2011 and 2020. This aging population will further increase the burden on health care systems and costs.
“There are many prevalent trends across the GCC, that are likely to impact life sciences and healthcare companies operating in the region,” said Ballantyne.
“These trends include governments’ increasing investment in health awareness and lifestyle changes programs and technological advancements; the growth of smaller clinics and ambulatory centers; increased interest in medical tourism; and new health care regulations,” he added.