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Algeria: Algeria Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Analysis for 2011


The major draws of Algeria’s pharmaceutical market are its considerable size (with a population of over 35mn) and the considerable potential for healthcare investment, given the fact that the state is a main hydrocarbons exporter. on the other hand, the administration remains accused of giving special treatment to generics products and the domestic industry, while the nation’s wider intellectual property rights (IPRs) surroundings is also a cause for concern to multinationals operating there.

The occurrence of diabetes (especially type II) is on the rise in Algeria as both affluence and urbanization amplify. Official statistics guess that around 8% of Algerians suffer from the condition. In addition, around 40,000 new cases of cancer are registered each year, although the country only has four specialist oncology centers. In response to mounting condemnation about the lack of sufficient action facilities, strategy have been announced to increase the number of cancer treatment centres in Algeria from four to 17, as well as to build a National Cancer Care Institute in Oran. The Minister of Health, Djamel Ould Abbas, has also pledged to purchase more equipment.

In October 2010, the Algerian administration signed a letter of intent with a number of US firms aimed at bringing much needed investment to the country’s pharmaceutical and healthcare sector in areas such as technology transfer, research and development (R&D) and direct investments. Investments are also expected to be made in a number of specialized healthcare services such as oncology centers. Domestic pharmaceutical group Saidal announced that it is to start work on a modernization program worth EUR1.4mn (US$1.9mn) aimed at increasing production capacity at eight of its manufacturing facilities based in Algiers, Cherchell, and Medea. The improvements will increase Saidal’s drug production capabilities from 135mn to 298mn sales units, as well as raise the firm’s standards of quality to that of European levels. The improvements are being financed by a National Investment Fund loan, which allocated EUR180mn (US$251mn) to the Saidal Group’s five-year development plan in 2009. Elsewhere, Pfizer-Saidal Manufacturing (PSM), a collaboration between US pharmaceutical major Pfizer’s local subsidiary, Pfizer Pharm Algerie and domestic pharmaceutical firm Saidal, announced that it is to begin the production of an unspecified major anti-inflammatory treatment by the end of 2010. The anti-inflammatory medication is currently one of about 20 products imported by PSM, which also manufactures about 18 products at its Algiers plant.

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