The UAE is close to being self-sufficient in producing generic drugs as 16 pharmaceutical facilities are manufacturing up to 1,000 such drugs, according to a senior official from the Ministry of Health and Prevention.
Dr Ameen Hussain Al Amiri, the Ministry’s Assistant Under-Secretary for Public Health and Licensing said in comments published by news agency WAM that the country is also planning to increase the number of manufacturing facilities to 30 by 2020.
This is another indication of the strong growth of the pharmaceutical industry and the efforts being exerted to improve the UAE’s global competitiveness, he said.
“The global biopharmaceutical market is huge as manufacturers are planning to produce biopharmaceuticals – biologic medications or biologics – using living organisms and DNA. Producing biologics is more expensive and more effective than generic drugs; however, biologics will remain less expensive,” added Al Ameri.
A biopharmaceutical is any pharmaceutical drug product manufactured in, extracted from or semi-synthesised from biological sources.
Different from totally synthesised pharmaceuticals, these include vaccines, blood, blood components, allergenics, somatic cells, gene therapies, tissues, recombinant therapeutic protein and living cells used in cell therapy.