Saudi Arabia Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report

Providing expert analysis, independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the pharmaceuticals and healthcare industry.

Report includes: BMI Industry View, Industry SWOT Analysis, Industry Forecasts, BMI's Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Risk Reward Index, Market Summary, Economic Forecasts, Company Profiles and Competitive Landscape.

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Saudi Arabia Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report
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BMI View: The combined value of Saudi Arabia's pharmaceutical and healthcare markets is the largest in the Middle East and Africa region. The Kingdom ' s National Transformation Program, a key part of Vision 2030, reinstates the government's commitment to improving healthcare provision in the country . Nonetheless, the rising burden of non-communicable diseases will place greater pressure on the country's health se rvices, while opportunities for multinational pharmaceutical companies will develop in line with this. As such, we expect the private sector to play a pivotal role in healthcare expansion in Saudi Arabia over the long term, principally through private health insurance schemes.

Headline Expenditure Projections

  • Pharmaceuticals: SAR31.75bn (USD8.46bn) in 2015 to SAR35.14bn (USD9.37bn) in 2016; +10.7% in both local currency and US dollar terms. Forecast in line with Q 3 16 .

  • Healthcare: SAR142.86bn (USD38.10bn) in 2015 to SAR153.50bn (USD40.91bn) in 2016; +7.4% in local currency terms and US dollar terms. Forecast in line with Q 3 16 .

Headline Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Forecasts (Saudi Arabia 2014-2020)
2014 2015 2016f 2017f 2018f 2019f 2020f
f = BMI forecast. Source: National Sources, Local news source, domestic companies, BMI
Pharmaceutical sales, USDbn 7.560 8.460 9.370 10.340 11.390 12.520 13.730
Pharmaceutical sales, % of GDP 1.00 1.30 1.44 1.40 1.41 1.43 1.43
Pharmaceutical sales, % of health expenditure 21.3 22.2 22.9 23.5 24.1 24.7 25.3
Health spending, USDbn 35.440 38.100 40.910 43.960 47.200 50.670 54.370

Risk/Reward Index

In our Q416 Pharmaceutical Risk/Reward Index (RRI) Saudi Arabia's score of 60.4 out of 100 is in line with its last quarter score, and maintains its position in second place out of 31 countries analysed in the whole Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. Regionally, Saudi Arabia ranks relatively well compared to the other Gulf States - only UAE is positioned higher. Its high composite score is due to its wealth and a sizeable population, which will support the longer-term development of the pharmaceutical market. To add to this, the country boasts the largest market size and one of the highest per-capita expenditure on pharmaceuticals in the region. However, issues relating to patent approvals and the regulatory system remain a major issue for foreign research-based pharmaceutical players. Moreover, Saudi Arabia's profound economic upheaval has the potential to cause greater instability in the kingdom; as such the government will closely monitor the social impact of its reforms.

Latest Updates

  • In August 2016, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (MoH) announced plans to employ 100,000 Saudi nationals in the healthcare sector by 2030 - making up part of the Kingdom's National Transformation Program (NTP).

  • In July 2016, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) granted a license for the first locally produced medicine for the treatment of hepatitis C virus. The Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries and Medical Appliances Corporation (SPIMACO) plans to launch the recently approved hepatitis C treatment Sofira by the end of 2016.

  • In June 2016, following the publication of Saudi Arabia's NTP, the president of Merck & Co Saudi Arabia, Patrick Jordan, noted that the company plans to launch three new innovative medicines in the fields of immuno-oncology, hepatitis C and anti-infectives in Saudi Arabia by the end of 2016.

BMI Economic View

Relatively elevated growth in the hydrocarbon sector will prevent the Saudi economy from entering a recession in 2016. Nonetheless, the non-oil economy will continue to post negative growth rates over the coming quarters, as the Saudi government pushes ahead with fiscal retrenchment on the back of low oil prices.

BMI Political View

The Saudi royal family depends on steady oil revenues to maintain its tight grip on the population. As a result, the sustained downturn in global oil demand could lead to substantial unrest and, potentially, regime change over the long term. We expect the Kingdom to closely monitor the impact of its economic transformation plan on domestic stability, scaling back reforms if it perceives them to trigger too much instability.

BMI Industry View
Table: Headline Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Forecasts (Saudi Arabia 2014-2020)
Industry Forecast
Pharmaceutical Market Forecast
Table: Pharmaceutical Sales, Historical Data And Forecasts (Saudi Arabia 2012-2020)
Healthcare Market Forecast
Table: Healthcare Expenditure Trends, Historical Data And Forecasts (Saudi Arabia 2012-2020)
Table: Government Healthcare Expenditure Trends, Historical Data And Forecasts (Saudi Arabia 2012-2020)
Table: Private Healthcare Expenditure Trends, Historical Data And Forecasts (Saudi Arabia 2012-2020)
Prescription Drug Market Forecast
Table: Prescription Drug Market Indicators, Historical Data And Forecasts (Saudi Arabia 2012-2020)
Patented Drug Market Forecast
Table: Patented Drug Market Indicators, Historical Data And Forecasts (Saudi Arabia 2012-2020)
Generic Drug Market Forecast
Table: Generic Drug Market Indicators, Historical Data And Forecasts (Saudi Arabia 2012-2020)
OTC Market Forecast
Table: Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medicine Market Indicators, Historical Data And Forecasts (Saudi Arabia 2012-2020)
Pharmaceutical Trade Forecast
Table: Pharmaceutical Trade Data And Forecasts (Saudi Arabia 2014-2020)
Table: Pharmaceutical Trade Data And Forecasts local currency (Saudi Arabia 2014-2020)
Industry Risk Reward Index
Middle East and Africa Risk/Reward Index - Q3 2016
Saudi Arabia Risk/Reward Index
Regulatory Review
Intellectual Property Issues
Pricing Regime
Reimbursement Regime
Market Overview
Healthcare Sector
Table: Healthcare Resources (Saudi Arabia 2010-2015)
Table: Healthcare Personnel (Saudi Arabia 2010-2015)
Table: Healthcare Activity (Saudi Arabia 2010-2015)
Research & Development
Clinical Trials
Competitive Landscape
Research-Based Industry
Table: Multinational Market Activity
Generic Drugmakers
Pharmaceutical Distribution
Pharmaceutical Retail Sector
Company Profile
TABUK Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
Demographic Forecast
Demographic Outlook
Table: Population Headline Indicators (Saudi Arabia 1990-2025)
Table: Key Population Ratios (Saudi Arabia 1990-2025)
Table: Urban/Rural Population & Life Expectancy (Saudi Arabia 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group (Saudi Arabia 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group % (Saudi Arabia 1990-2025)
Pharmaceutical Expenditure Forecast Model
Healthcare Expenditure Forecast Model
Notes On Methodology
Risk/Reward Index Methodology
Index Overview
Table: Pharmaceutical Risk/Reward Index Indicators
Indicator Weightings

The Saudi Arabia Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report features BMI Research's forecasts for drugs and healthcare expenditure and imports and exports, focusing on the growth outlook for the prescription, OTC, patented drugs and generics market segments.

BMI's Saudi Arabia Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report provides industry professionals, strategists, company executives, investors, analysts and sales/marketing heads with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the Saudi Arabia pharmaceutical and healthcare industry.

Key Benefits

  • Benchmark BMI's pharmaceutical and healthcare market forecasts for Saudi Arabia, to test other views - a key input for successful budgeting and strategic business planning in the Saudi pharmaceutical and healthcare market.
  • Target business opportunities and risks in the Saudi pharmaceutical and healthcare sector through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments in Saudi Arabia.
  • Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors using our company profiles (including SWOTs, KPIs and latest activity) and competitive landscape tables.


BMI Industry View

An at-a-glance perspective on the latest regulatory developments, key forecast indicators and major corporate developments, covering the prescription, OTC and generics markets. The pharmaceuticals and healthcare SWOT outlines strategic factors that affect the basic assumptions underpinning BMI’s forecast analysis, and taken together with BMI’s political, economic and business environment SWOTs, it gives a complete overview of market climate.

BMI Industry Forecast Scenario

Industry forecasts to end-2019 for all key indicators, supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecasts:

  • Healthcare: Total healthcare expenditure (USDbn), healthcare expenditure (% of GDP), healthcare expenditure per capita (USD), hospital beds, doctors, and birth & mortality rates (all per ‘000 population).
  • Pharmaceutical Market: Drug expenditure in USDbn, % of GDP and per capita (USD).
  • Patented Drug Market: Prescription drug sales (USDbn & % of total sales).
  • Generic Drug Market: Generic product sales (USDbn), generic sales (% of total sales).
  • OTC Drug Market: OTC sales (USDbn & % of total sales).
  • Macroeconomic Forecasts: Nominal and real GDP, % real GDP growth, % private consumption growth, % industrial output growth, % consumer price index, % GDP price deflator, exports, imports, trade balance, current account balance, foreign direct investment, exchange rate against USD, government expenditure and external debt.

BMI’s Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Risk Reward Index

BMI’s Risk Reward Index provides investors (both national and multinational) looking for opportunities in the region with a clear country-comparative assessment of the market’s risks and potential rewards. Each of the country markets are scored using a sophisticated model that includes more than 40 industry, economic and demographic data points to provide indices of highest to lowest appeal to investors, with each position explained.

Market Summary

A snapshot of key market characteristics, including total size of the pharmaceuticals and healthcare segments, growth drivers, leading therapeutic areas and the competitive landscape

Industry Developments

A focus on government healthcare reforms, epidemiological trends, mergers and acquisitions, product launches, market entries, FDI activity, R&D, biotechnology, clinical trials and supply chain issues.

Regulatory Regime

Details of the industry regulatory framework and key legislation covering the licensing of new products/services, pricing and reimbursements, intellectual property, taxation and advertising, as well as analysis of the overall regulatory burden.

Competitive Landscape

The competitive landscape section provides comparative company analyses and index by USD sales and % share of total sales – for the total pharmaceutical sector, as well as the OTC, generics and distribution sub-sectors.

Company Profiles*

Examines the competitive positioning and short- to medium-term business strategies of key industry players. Strategy is examined within the context of BMI’s industry forecasts, our macroeconomic views and our understanding of the wider competitive landscape to generate Company SWOT analyses. The latest financial and operating statistics and key company developments are also incorporated within the company profiles, enabling a full evaluation of recent company performance and future growth prospects.

*Company profiles are not available for every country. Those reports instead contain information on the current activities of prominent companies operating in the market.