3 Regional Pharma Managers on their Middle East Go-To-Market Strategies

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The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is vast and is predominantly composed of emerging countries with varying levels of income and healthcare infrastructure. Here, three regional managers for pharma multinationals explain what MEA means to their global groups and their key areas of focus today.

 

Biogen: Awareness is Crucial

Biogen’s manager for the Middle East, Africa, Russia & CIS, Turkey (MART) region Ajai Sulekh outlines why raising awareness in his region is so important and some of the initiatives that Biogen is undertaking towards this goal.

“Although the MART region covers many different countries, all share the need to raise awareness about devastating neurological diseases. Working closely with governments and authorities is highly important to help their citizens throughout the full journey of their disease, from early diagnosis to treatment.

 

Collectively, the more we increase the awareness of patients, physicians, and authorities, the better outcomes we will see for patients and their families

 

“Awareness is one of the most challenging pieces of the equation. Neuroscience has been a challenging area for the pharmaceutical industry, but Biogen knows the importance of persisting in it.

“In the Middle East, the awareness and diagnosis of neurological diseases is fairly low. While some diseases are better served than others, healthcare providers often lack the resources to fully serve patients in these areas. Additionally, patients are generally not aware of neurological diseases, making it hard for them to detect warning signs.

“Collectively, the more we increase the awareness of patients, physicians, and authorities, the better outcomes we will see for patients and their families. This last part is important because neurological diseases take a high toll on the entire family, not just the patient. A child living with SMA needs the ongoing support of the parents and an Alzheimer’s patient needs a caregiver watching over them daily.

“To put this in context, there are almost 50 million Alzheimer’s patients around the world, including a large quantity in Saudi Arabia.”

Read the full interview here

 

Takeda: Pricing Model Innovation

Brazilian Rodrigo Rodriguez is general manager for Takeda’s Middle East cluster. Here, Rodriguez highlights how Takeda is working to ensure that no country is left behind in terms of access to the firm’s latest innovations.

“One of the key elements that Takeda must consider is the ability to deliver therapies to patients across the world, not only discover them. While we do find robust healthcare systems in some countries, we understand that there are other places where we must implement different programs that adapt to specific needs.

 

We are trying to find a good balance between investments in innovation and the overall sustainability of the healthcare system, including the public and private healthcare budgets

 

“We have many patient-assistance programs in place that accelerate access to much-needed innovation. At the end of the day, the mission is to discover innovation and provide it to patients in need; that view requires us to create tailor-made programs that, for example, have a pricing model that varies in accordance with a country’s capacity to pay.”

“We are trying to find a good balance between investments in innovation and the overall sustainability of the healthcare system, including the public and private healthcare budgets. Today, the level of understanding is much higher than in years past. We have a clear process to ensure that these innovative access programs are becoming a reality with a clear understanding from both sides.”

Read the full interview here

 

Amgen: Judicious Market Selection

Industry veteran Mohammed Nasser oversees Amgen’s operations in MEA and explains how the company chooses which markets to invest in, especially given the varying localisation requirements across the region.

“Amgen has a presence in 16 markets across the Middle East and Africa. We are operating in all six Gulf countries: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar. We are also in Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and South Africa. In some cases, we have a direct presence and in others, we work with distributors, but patients in all those countries have access to our products.

 

Our approach has been simple: we look at ways in which we can have the deepest and fastest impact on the lives of patients

 

“Our approach has been simple: we look at ways in which we can have the deepest and fastest impact on the lives of patients. But we must also be judicial in choosing where we establish ourselves, given that some countries require 100 percent local ownership, others require a 50-50 model and so on.

“To be successful, we always keep compliance in mind. This is not just in terms of ethics, which are non-negotiable, but also in terms of quality to ensure that products reach the patient in the optimum conditions. On a positive note, healthcare coverage expansion in the region over the past decade has provided companies like Amgen with an unmissable opportunity to reach more patients.”

Read the full interview here


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