DUBAI, 11th January, 2021 (WAM) — The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) revealed that the list of generic medicines currently available in the UAE’s pharmaceutical market includes 6,176 products, while the number of factories operating in the medical and pharmaceutical industry reached 16 factories, in addition to 3 other factories working in the fields of intravenous fluids, laboratories, and medical supplies.

“Such numbers clearly reflect the flexible and attractive legislation and investment environment and the availability of experiences, research capabilities, initiatives, and incentives that help establish competitive medical and pharmaceutical industries,” MoHAP added.

“The provision of generic drugs enables patients to receive appropriate and affordable treatment, owing to the lower costs of these medicines by 60% compared to the originally branded medicines,” said Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, the Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health and Prevention’s Public Health Policy and Licenses.

Al-Amiri pointed to the ministry’s keenness to expand the UAE- manufactured generic drugs and to pave the way for local plants to focus on manufacturing new and innovative medicines in various fields, in addition to updating the manufacturing policies to cope with the international developments. This is in line with the attention paid by the UAE to drug safety as a strategic priority, especially in times of crisis and pandemics.

Concluding his remarks, Al-Amiri underlined that the UAE’s health policies encourage the manufacturing of innovative medicines and pharmaceutical raw materials and vaccines in order to achieve self-sufficiency. This is achieved by stimulating the investment in this sector, expanding the cooperation with global pharmaceutical companies, and enticing highly competent and skilled workforce and state-of-the-art equipment and technology.

Earlier, the Health Ministry issued Ministerial Decree 321 of 2020 which regulates the use of data and information related to innovative pharmaceutical products registered inside the UAE.

According to the decree, the data exclusivity period is set to 8 years from the date of marketing approval inside the UAE, while generic companies can apply for marketing approval within the last 2 years from the end of the Data Exclusivity Period, provided they produce evidence on the absence of valid patent protection of the originator drug inside the UAE.

Decree 321 leaves a space for MoHAP to grant exceptions to generic companies, despite the Data Exclusivity Period, for public health or other reasons which are decided on a case-by-case basis.

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