Dr. Amin Al Amiri: The Forum serves as a knowledge and scientific platform that reflects the international leadership of the UAE's pharmaceutical economy
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 1 October 2017: Under the patronage of His Excellency Abdul Rahman Al Owais, the Minister of Health & Prevention, the GCC PharmacoEconomic Forum was organised, chaired by H.E. Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Policy and Licensing and Vice Chairman of the Drug Pricing and Registration Higher Committee. The forum was also attended by H.E. Diab Al-Rashidi, Consul General of Kuwait in Dubai, and Dr. Omar Al Sayed Omar, Assistant Undersecretary of Medicines and Food Control at the Kuwait Ministry of Health. The forum aims at advancing the understanding of the health economy in the region and discussing relevant issues and challenges concerning healthcare funding to ensure the success of pharmaceutical innovation, enhance access to medicines and support pharmaceutical industries and pharmacoeconomics.
The event has been held with the participation of a group of decision makers of the UAE and the GCC countries, in addition to a number of regulatory authorities, healthcare providers, healthcare professionals, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and academia in the GCC Region. Pharmacoeconomics consists of multiple tools including, the pricing of products innovated to meet the needs and priorities of the healthcare system, cost utility analysis, cost effectiveness analysis, budget impact analysis, depending on the needs of healthcare institutions.
Pharmaceutical economy strongly impacts health policies and the foresight of the future of healthcare
During the inauguration speech, H.E. Dr. Amin Al Amiri stressed the importance of holding the GCC PharmacoEconomic Forum in the UAE, which serves as a knowledge and scientific platform that regulates regulatory procedures to evaluate the clinical and economic aspects of pharmaceutical products, services, programs and other healthcare interventions. This helps provide healthcare decision-makers, service providers and patients with valuable information to achieve the best results and distribution of healthcare resources. Data obtained from the pharmacoeconomic files could impact many areas such as health policies, import and export of health and pharmaceutical products and technologies, and the planning for future healthcare services, including health insurance.
H.E. Al Amiri pointed to the strategic importance of the pharmacoeconomy in terms of providing a research method that estimates the costs and results of medical interventions to compare alternative approaches, achieve balance between quality, cost and customer satisfaction, achieve regulatory adherence, analyze costs and benefits, and improve access to life-saving medicines and affordability of essential medicines.
The Ministry of Health & Prevention's strategy contributes to the consolidation of the pharmacoeconomic principle
H.E. Al Amiri also highlighted the Ministry's strategy to support the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in the UAE, and strengthen the strategic partnership in the sector with international pharmaceutical companies to consolidate the pharmacoeconomic environment in the countries of the region. The Ministry aims to raise the awareness of the health sector representatives in the field of pharmaceutical economy, and methods for achieving positive healthcare results in this field.
Economic assessments provide healthcare decision-makers with valuable information, allowing for optimal use of resources. On the other hand, multidisciplinary collaboration between physicians, pharmacists, health services, pharmaceutical companies and regulatory authorities, is critical to the improvement of patient access to therapeutic solutions.
While speaking about the pharmaceutical spending in the UAE, Dr. Al Amin said: “The size UAE market amounted to AED 9.61 billion (USD 2.62 billion) in 2016, which is equivalent to 16% of the total healthcare investments. While the market is expected to grow from 9.61 to 14.11 billion AED between 2016 and 2021, and the per capita cost for the period (2015-2021) is expected to increase from 283 to 364 USD. By the end of 2016, the value of pharmaceutical exports increased from 3.45 to 4.39 billion USD, and the value of pharmaceutical imports increased from 14.4 to 18.32 billion AED.”
The UAE has the region's fastest-growing registration system for innovative medicines
Al Amiri also mentioned that providing the legislative and investment environment attractive to international pharmaceutical companies led to increasing the number of scientific offices from 30 in 2013 to 47 in 2017, which is expected to reach 75 in 2020. While the number of manufacturing companies (UAE-based factories) increased from 14 in 2014 to 18 in 2017 and is expected to reach 36 in 2020.
“The UAE is the only country that has adopted an effective and fast registration system for innovative medicines in the MENA region, which provided access to innovative medicines to patients, in the UAE and neighboring countries, seeking treatment in the UAE. The UAE is also the world's second or third country in registering medicines the treat autoimmune diseases, heart disease, viral hepatitis, cancer, hepatitis C, and the fourth in registering cardiac arrhythmia medicines. 66% of the medicines used in the country are classified as innovative, while generic medicines amounted to 16% and over-the-counter (OTC) prescription medicines amounted to 18%. This reflects the leadership of the Ministry in flexibility in the registration and adoption of innovative medicines within standards and regulations set according to the best international practices, which provides patients with access to the latest therapeutic medicines and in turn reduces their suffering and increasing the speed of their recovery, in addition to supporting medical tourism in the UAE.” added Dr. Amiri
'At Sanofi, we are committed to partnering with the government and health authorities to work towards achieving cost effective healthcare solutions and innovative treatments in the GCC. Our joint initiative with the Ministry of Health & Prevention aims to develop programs that will help enhance the skills of healthcare professionals for better disease management, implement national health awareness activities, and improve education and training on pharmacoeconomics. Our endeavor is to reinforce support for all key stakeholders involved in the industry, and build sustainable healthcare systems in accordance with the highest international standards,' said Jean-Paul Scheuer, Country Chair & General Manager for Sanofi Gulf.
The forum presented research methods and techniques of research in the field of the pharmacoeconomics, the study of the principles of pricing medicines and medical products, and efficiency in using health resources. The forum also highlighted future opportunities and challenges in developing the healthcare and research economy in the GCC countries. Rapid growth in pharmaceutical expenditures has led to increased interest in the economic assessment of health interventions. Pharmaceoeconomics is used in a wide range of areas, such as prescription management (inclusion or exclusion of a new medicine, treatment or launch of a new service), setting drug policies and guidelines for treatment, drug expenditure control, procurement negotiations, pricing of medicines among others.