Riyadh — Bandar Alkhorayef announced the launch of several investment opportunities in the vaccines and vital medicines industry valued at $3.4 billion.
Alkhorayef is the Chairman of the committee for Manufacturing Vaccines and Vital Medicines. And the Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia.
These new opportunities will fulfill the Kingdom’s goals of self-sufficiency in pharmaceutical and health security. And make Saudi Arabia an important center for this vital industry.
The minister said the value of the targeted pharmaceutical sector exceeds $5 billion and will be implemented in several stages.
The local production will start with vaccines and vital medicines. Phase one of the program focuses on localizing insulin, vaccines, and plasma production. As reported y the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Alkhorayef stressed the importance of transferring the full technologies to build the Kingdom’s capabilities in these sectors. Thus, it achieves health and pharmaceutical security yet reduces the high cost of health care.
Currently, Saudi Arabia imports 100% of vaccines and vital pharmaceutical products. In comparison, the essential medicines sector has the fastest growth rate of 17% per annum for all pharmaceutical sector products.
The minister said that the Vaccines and Vital Medicines Committee would focus in the first phase on localizing children’s basic vaccines and building the necessary self-capacities and manufacturing platforms to combat future pandemics.
This step precedes insulin production to treat diabetes patients. It follows up by developing collection centers for plasma and a world-standard plasma derivatives factory.
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The second phase focuses on localizing immunological and cancer treatment technologies. The estimated size of this vital sector is over $2 billion per annum. Insulin alone represents approximately $340 million.
The minister explained that the Manufacturing Vaccines and Vital Medicines Committee aims to achieve positive results by identifying the best technologies in the field of vaccines and vital medicines, in which the Kingdom must invest to transfer and localize knowledge.
Additionally, build local industrial platforms with international specifications to enable the Kingdom to occupy its natural place as an industrial power and a logistical platform for vaccines and vital medicines in the Middle East and the Muslim countries.
The committee, formed by a Cabinet decision in March 2022, chaired by the minister of industry and mineral resources, is working on organizing and developing vital medicines.
It is developing a strategy for regulating vaccines, essential drugs, programs, and plans. The body will supervise the implementation of rules and standards for building factories for vaccines and required medicines. It will administrate all procedures governing the construction of these factories.