Algeria – THE [pharma] place to be in Africa ?

April 4, 2014 4:16 pm0 commentsViews: 2910

With a Pharmaceutical market worth 3 billion USD and a growth of 10 %, Algeria is the 2nd largest Pharmaceutical Market in Africa.

The lobbying  is well underway. UK, India, France, USA, ….. delegations are lining up in Algiers to propose to contribute to the development of the pharmaceutical industry in Algeria, propose investment projects and unveil impressive shots and blueprints of future projects.

While was held yesterday a  “Pharmaceutical Industry” workshop on the sidelines of Algerian-French partnership Forum, a U.S. delegation led by the US-Algeria Business Council came to Algiers to relaunch the Biotechnology Hub Project that PhRMA proposes to develop in partnership with Harvard and the Algerian Ministry of Health near Algiers. Earlier, in March, a delegation of 40 Indian pharmaceutical companies led by PharmExcil came to Algiers to explore opportunities of collaboration and partnership in Algeria.

A growing market

The facts are there. Algeria is the second largest market on the African continent (after South Africa) with a value that reached 3 billion U.S. dollars in 2012 and a sustained growth of 10% per year coupled with a generous social security system that reimburses up to 80% of drugs. The Algerian market is expected to reach 5 billions USD by 2017.

Added to this the fact that as only 30% of consumed drugs are manufactured locally (with the remaining 70% being imported), the Algerian government has undertaken to boost and push investment projects in the pharmaceutical field to reverse this trend completely by 2014 with the objective of 70% of medicines locally manufactured.

The result is an explosition investment and extension projects and pharmaceutical plants and therefore, a lots of opportunities for partnerships and Joint-Ventures.

Recent JV & Investment Projects

ASTRA ZENECA has signed a partnership agreement in Q4 2012 with Biopharm (# 1 Private Algerian Manufacturer) to produce locally a part of its product range.

SAIDAL (the Algerian state-owned pharmaceutical company) has announced an investment of nearly $ 200 million USD for the creation of three new production plants.

IPSEN has contracted a JV with the new algerian Laboratory AT Pharma (a subsidiary of HydraPharm, biggest Algerian distributor).

BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM just inaugurated this week its brick and mortar scientific office in Algiers as part of the consolidation of its operations in the country.

SANOFI Algeria confirmed during this weeks Algerian-French partnership Forum, its intention to build a 65 million Euros pharmaceutical plant near Algiers.

Added to this : dozens of other construction projects of new pharmaceutical production plants led by Algerian investors and existing manufacturers.

The big  September meeting : MAGHREB PHARMA Expo 2014

From 20 to 22 September in Algeria (HILTON Algiers Exhibition Area), will take place the 3rd edition of the International Exhibition for the Pharmaceutical Industry Suppliers in North Africa : MAGHREB PHARMA Expo 2014 ( This 4800 m² exhibition (the largest of its kind on the African continent) brings on one side companies providing inputs (pharmaceutical ingredients marchines, equipment, turnkey projects, services, …) and on the other side North African professionals of the pharmaceutical sector.

More than 150 Exhibitors are expected and 2000 professionals, entrepreneurs and investors from the Maghreb region plus dozens of conferences and guest speakers for what will be the largest business-to-business gathering of the year in the Region.

Money, Stability, Proximity

2 hours by plane from the main European capitals, one of the most stable country in the Arab world, and (nearly) unlimited money availability thanks to its Oil & Gas exportation revenues and its fast developing economy in the private sector ; Algeria became a very attractive market. The Pharmaceutical sector is following the same dynamic development.

All these factors together with the annual organization of MAGHREB PHARMA Expo, Algeria might definitely become the Pharmaceutical  market to be and invest on the African continent !

by Olivier-Hicham Allard
MSc Indust. Pharm.
MENA Business Development Consultant
Contact him :

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