TRENDS BY REGION: AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST
South Africa’s largest pharmaceutical company, Aspen Pharmacare, realized a 14% increase in revenue (at current rates) from June 2006 ($481 million) to June 2007 ($555 million). Aspen is planning to triple its manufacturing capacity, and has been laying the groundwork necessary to do so. Aspen’s total investment in operational production capabilities should reach $137 million in 2008. They began investing in this venture in 2003. Aspen is starting commercial production of its sterile facility in 2H08, apart from upgrading its heritage general facility. For the Aspen Group, the local unit accounts for 74% of group turnover. The South African business revenue grew 15% to $449 million from $391 million, while pre-tax profit grew by 20%, to $144 million from $125 million. For margin growth, Aspen is concentrating on such areas such as hormonal drugs. In year ending June 2007, overall revenue grew by 17% to $555 million. Sales of finished dosage form (FDF) antiretrovirals (ARVs) grew 65%, reaching $60 million. From the end of July 2006 to the end of July 2007, Aspen’s international business–the best performer– experienced an increase in revenue of 26%, to $104 million.
The pharmaceutical sector is developing in a very competitive market. Government favoritism toward generics and other measures has caused problems for international pharmaceutical companies operating in Algeria. The market relies entirely on imports and is open to United States companies because they employ advanced technology training. The strongest opportunities for the US companies include: biotechnology, high-tech, anti- cancer and cardiovascular drugs, medical equipment, disposable products, advanced medical and surgical equipment, radiology, pathology, optical devices, vaccines, and software for hospital management and internal networks.