New drug manufacturing plant launched in Saudi Arabia


A new drug manufacturing facility built by a Middle East partnership has also opened in King Abdullah Economic City on the west coast of the Red Sea, north of Jeddah.

The $53 million, 75,000-square-meter (807,292-square-foot) Julphar Saudi Arabia plant was built by a joint venture between the United Arab Emirates-based Julphar Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries, and Cigalah Group, a Saudi healthcare distributor. Julphar claims to be the largest generic drugmaker in the Middle East and North Africa.

Julphar will make both oral solid dose and oral liquid formulations. It will have the capacity to manufacture up to 1 billion tablets, 300 million capsules and 30 million bottles of syrups and suspensions a year.

The new Julphar facility in the UAE comes online after the country in 2015 made drugmakers cut the prices on drugs as falling oil prices squeezed the country’s budget. The UAE’s Ministry of Health cut prices on 280 products. The country has made several rounds of cuts since 2010.

The project is reportedly the first Emirati-Saudi investment partnership in the pharmaceutical industry. But there has been a growing number of pharma projects in the region.