RIYADH — Dammam Pharma Co., a subsidiary of Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries and Medical Appliances Corp. (SPIMACO), signed a cooperation agreement with Merck Sharp & Dohme International (MSD) company, to manufacture type 2 diabetes medications in the Kingdom.
The signing ceremony was held in the presence of Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef at the headquarters of the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources. The production of type 2 diabetes medications slated to begin in the first quarter of 2024.
The agreement is expected to meet the entire demand for these medicines in the Kingdom. This will be the first factory in the Middle East and North Africa to produce type 2 diabetes medicine, and the goal is to also export it to regional markets.
Abdallah Nabil, general manager of MSD branch in Saudi Arabia, said that the agreement is a significant step toward localizing pharmaceutical industries. “The project aligns with the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to increase local production. The pharmaceutical market in the Kingdom currently amounts to approximately SR34 billion and it is expected to reach SR40 billion by 2030,” he said.
Nabil said the project will provide opportunities to transfer highly specialized pharmaceutical technologies to the Kingdom and create new scope for investment. It will also create new employment opportunities in the labor market, he added. On his part, SPIMACO CEO Jerome Cabannes said that this partnership reaffirms the company’s commitment to providing advanced specialized treatments, on par with the highest international standards, in the Kingdom. “The local manufacturing of MSD medication for diabetes constitutes an important step toward transferring and localizing pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies in the Kingdom,” he said.
Cabannes said that 17.7 percent of adults in the Kingdom have diabetes, which places the country second in the Middle East and seventh in the world in terms of prevalence of diabetes, according to the World Health Organization.
The local manufacturing of MSD medications for diabetes constitutes an important step on the level of transferring and localizing pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies in the Kingdom. The agreement comes in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the objectives of the National Strategy for Industry, which aims to support the localization of pharmaceutical products and enhance the health and drug security of the Kingdom.
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