Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/05/2014 -- We expect poor economic conditions in Morocco will lead to continuing decline in pharmaceutical imports and spending in the short term. However, the rate of decline in pharmaceutical sales is starting to slow, indicating that conditions for Moroccan drugmakers are beginning to improve as the growing middle class drives demand. Our outlook is therefore more positive over the long term. Meanwhile, the patented drugs market will continue to take the largest percentage of overall pharmaceutical sales, but will start to lose its share of the total as the government continues to promote the use of generic products, leading to increased substitution of branded drugs.
Headline Expenditure Projections
- Pharmaceuticals: MAD9.32bn (US$1.11bn) in 2013 to MAD9.49bn (US$1.13bn) in 2014; +1.7% in local currency terms and +2.0% in US dollar terms.
- Healthcare: MAD54.83bn (US$6.53bn) in 2013 to MAD56.48bn (US$6.74bn) in 2014; +3.0% in local currency terms and +3.2% in US dollar terms. Forecast higher than Q413 on account of upward revision of historical figures for pharmaceutical market.
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In our latest proprietary Pharmaceutical Risk/Reward Ratings (RRR), Morocco continues to be viewed as a moderately attractive pharmaceutical market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, from a longerterm perspective. Morocco ranks 13th in the region, out of the 30 countries assessed in our ratings matrix, with a score of 42.3 out of 100. The market's constraints include low per capita consumption and an underdeveloped reimbursement system, although such factors are to a degree offset by a relatively predictable operating environment.
Key Trends And Developments
- Moroccan drugmakers are seeking to enter the UAE's pharmaceutical market, The National reported in February 2014, citing export adviser for Maroc Export, Hamid Kabbage. Two companies that plan to enter the market this year are Pharma5, which expects to enter the market with five medicines (predominantly antibiotics) and Bottu Laboratories. The latter is seeking to launch 10 products, including antibiotics, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and diabetes medications, according to Ahmed Kathir, the company's export director.
- In September 2013 United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Abraaj Group invested in Steripharma, a Moroccan pharmaceutical company. Steripharma manufactures good manufacturing practices (GMP)- compliant pharmaceuticals and also provides a consolidated distribution service through private sector wholesalers and the regulated pharmaceutical distribution network in Morocco. The investment will allow Steripharma to engage in its second phase of growth plan, with the development of a new GMP
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