Boehringer Ingelheim enters into tripartite agreement with Cigalah and Tabuk for local production in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

45Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, entered into a tripartite agreement for local production in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with Cigalah and Tabouk. This came from Boehringer Ingelheim’s interest in expanding in KSA with innovative medicines. Tabuk, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company, as a local manufacturing leader who wants to strengthen its products and services offering to Saudi patients, and Cigala as a major healthcare distribution player with strong local infrastructure – along with Boehringer Ingelheim, all have decided to combine scientific know-how, technical expertise, and local infrastructure to serve the Saudi patients. With this contract, Cigalah and Tabuk will manage and drive complex secondary packaging projects of 26 products for Boehringer Ingelheim from the starting point until full implementation to become finished goods. This is the first milestone towards Boehringer Ingelheim’s future local primary manufacturing in the kingdom.

With Boehringer Ingelheim’s investment, interest to expand in KSA and partnering with local manufacturing units, the company will be able to offer more innovative medicines for Saudi patients, helping them to improve health and quality of life. In addition, the partnership aims to seed job opportunities, and act as a business driver where Boehringer Ingelheim contributes to the development of the overall pharmaceutical sector. The company has established its full end-to-end capabilities in Saudi Arabia and will continue to increase its own local investments in the pharmacutical space as well as local talent in order to drive socio-economic development; creating value for individuals and society as a whole.

The contract between the Companies was signed by Dr. Abdul Aziz AL Serafi CEO consultant of Cigalah Group, Dr Hamad Al Khamees, General Manager Saudi Arabia Tabuk and Mohammed Al Tawil, General Manager, Boehringer Ingelheim Middle East and Near East Area.

The local production in Saudi Arabia satisfies only 15% of the demand and imports account for 85% of the domestic market1. The locally-grown companies primarily make generic drugs, while some also undertake under-license manufacturing and packaging on behalf of multinational pharmaceutical companies for supply in the domestic and regional markets.

The agreement will help to establish new capabilities and capacities and a more effective supply chain to support Boehringer Ingelheim’s ambitious business plan and expansion in Saudi Arabia. As the healthcare expenditure is forecasted to grow from 3.5% in 2010 to 6% of GDP by 20201, this partnership marks a significant step towards meeting the demand for quality medicines in the region while strengthening the infrastructure to locally provide therapies at par with the international standards.

Commenting on the agreement, Mohammed Al Tawil, General Manager, Boehringer Ingelheim Middle East and Near East Area, said, “We are delighted to enter into an agreement with Cigalah Group and Tabuk. As a leading global pharmaceutical company, we are committed to lead development and optimization of product specifications, testing protocols, qualification and validation of packaging thus ensuring product quality and safety. With this agreement we aim to reinforce our goal to make quality products and access to medication in the Kingdom.”

He further added, “All these activities show Boehringer Ingelheim’s commitment to supporting innovation and growing our business further in KSA – the most strategic pharma markets in the region. With the right infrastructure in place, Boehringer Ingelheim’ is dedicated to supporting the development of its partners and the communities in which it operates. To that end, Boehringer Ingelheim will continue to develop solutions that create a sound industry ecosystem and enrich life through pharmaceutical enhancements. “

Dr. Abdul Aziz AL Serafi CEO consultant of Cigalah Group, said, “We are happy to be associated with Boehringer Ingelheim and are sure that the cooperation between the two companies will be beneficial for the pharmaceutical sector with regards to quality, safety and accessibility of medication in the Kingdom.”

Dr Hamad Al Khamees, General Manager Saudi Arabia Tabuk , commented, “Being associated with a global brand like Boehringer Ingelheim and locally with Cigalah Group gives us an opportunity to best leverage our expertise in the local production space. We are excited about the opportunity given to us and looking for future further cooperation with Boehringer Ingelheim.”

The tripartite agreement enables Boehringer Ingelheim to contract Cigalah for the secondary packaging and authorizes Cigalah to implement and conduct the packaging production at Tabuk facilities.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest per capita single market for medical products and equipment, accounting for 59.4% of the Gulf’s overall pharmaceutical industry size1. Total market size in KSA constitutes of 24% international companies, 41% top 10 multinational companies and 35% local companies. Among the GCC countries Saudi Arabia has the largest number of local pharmaceutical manufacturing plants totaling 27 with an investment of US$ 619 million.

Packaging is a highly regulated end stage of the drug production process aimed at not only safeguarding the drug against contamination but also ensuring its durability, visibility, sterility and strength. The partnership is aimed at optimization of the packaging process and providing medicines as finished goods which can help in reducing costs while maintaining the international product quality.

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