MOH News
MOH Organizes Expanded Meeting for Manufacturers of Drugs and Medical Equipment and Supplies
08 February 2017
An expanded meeting for manufacturers of drugs and medical equipment and supplies held today (Wednesday) in Riyadh. It was organized by the Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources and Council of Saudi Chambers, in the presence of Advisor to the Ministry of Petroleum & Mineral Resources and Vice President of National Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP), His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Turki bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Health His Excellency Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), His Excellency Dr. Hisham bin Saad Al Jaddaei, Adviser at the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers Mr. Fahad Al-Sukait as well as a number of specialists from relevant authorities. 
 
Addressing the gathering, following a welcoming speech by Al-Rabiah, Prince Faisal highlighted the importance of the pharmaceutical industry in the Kingdom in line with the Kingdom Vision 2030, and the initiative of the NICDP and its cooperation with the MOH since 2013 to identify the important strategic sectors. In their consecutive speeches to the meeting, the dignitaries and participants from the private sectors underlined the importance of developing the local content as one of the main pillars for economic development in the Kingdom. The inaugural session was concluded with a display by the NICDP which is entrusted with localization of pharmaceutical industries, in line with the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020. The display briefed the audience on the outcomes of NTP workshops for the year 2016 and expected implementation steps in 2017.
 
For his part, Al-Rabiah confirmed that the MOH will support localization of pharmaceutical industries as one of its strategic goals, in line with the NTP, pointing out that the issue was one of his objectives when he was the minister of commerce and became a reality after his appointment as minister of health. He said that his ministry's success in this regard is a success for the country and he will make available all powers and facilities for the success of the local content in spite of the challenges and obstacles that we seek to overcome in order to achieve the desired goals which we all aspire to realize in coordination and cooperation between all of us.
 
Calling on producers to achieve a high quality local products, he said, "One of the main challenges that makes you impressed is poor quality of local products, and quite the opposite is when the local products are of high quality, we strongly stand by your side, wishing to see a unified body of all manufacturers of drugs and medical supplies. We in the MOH and the Council of Saudi Chambers will jointly work on the recommendations.
 
President of the NICDP, Eng. Khalid Mohammed Al Salem said that the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources is currently planning to develop policies and regulations that promote competitiveness of industrial sector, particularly: regulations to increase the local content, as one of the main objectives of the Kingdom Vision 2030 and that enhancement of the local content does not only means localization of labor, products and services, and not only restricted to local market services, but also includes competitiveness in the international market and its reflections on the national economy. For example, the ministry aims to strengthen partnership with the national drug manufacturing, in order to enhance local content of the pharmaceutical industries, in line with economic and investment opportunities we hope to achieve, whereas the size of the drug market in the Kingdom is approaching the limit of 30 billion Saudi riyals, of which 80% is imported from abroad. He pointed out that the ministry, in collaboration with the MOH, is working to upgrade the process of the NICDP in order to develop pharmaceutical industries and medical supplies and focusing on manufacturing industries and technology transfer to the Kingdom. In this regard a special committee was formed to study localization of pharmaceutical industries and medical supplies, with the aim of developing medical industries and increasing the rate of the MOH's local purchases of drugs by 50% of its current level, as a first stage of implementing the NTP.
 
For his part, Al-Sukait said the local content and private sector development unit was established by the economic council, pointing out that the local products constitute 34% of the Kingdom's purchase and the goal is to reach 50%. The health sector, he said, is reckoned one of the most important sectors within the local content, and one of the main issues the local content is currently working on, in collaboration with ministries, is amendment of purchasing system to include provisions for local content, most important of them is realization of required quality, confirming that the matter is a great positive step to become partners instead of governmental importers. He added that development of the private sector depends on three major matters: long-term development and special reinforcements to develop the sector through the opening of new markets and changing labor systems and development, while on the short-term we have two tracks, removing obstacles and overcoming them and improving environment.  
 
Regarding the huge support of SR 200 billion for the private sector for the next four years, plans and objectives will be developed and workshops will be held on how to make use of the fund on the short term, he said, confirming the importance of localizing jobs and feminization of labor in factories, and consequently raising balance of payment, reducing import and increasing export, aiming at competitiveness at regional and international levels. The private sector, he added, represents 40% of the Kingdom GDP accompanied with great state expenditure, and that objective is to support the local industries to make the private sector contribution to the GDP reaches 65%, in regard to the fact that the state is witnessing obvious changes in partnership with the private sector.
 
Also, a number of open workshops with the private sector discussed several topics including the current obstacles, challenges facing industries and companies, possibility of helping and developing those companies and purchasing mechanism and privileges for local companies, in addition to improving and supporting investment in the private sector.
 
 
 



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