Iberma, one of the leading domestic pharma manufacturers in Morocco, has evolved significantly since its founding in 1994 to become the market leader in several therapeutic areas. The company also has an increasingly international footprint, with plans to capture new opportunities in Africa and Europe.
Karim Lahlou, who took over the reins of Iberma from his late father, who was also the company’s founder, notes that “Iberma has always explored ways to play a significant role in the Moroccan pharmaceutical industry. Today, the company’s contribution is recognized by all its peers, prescribers, and pharmacists.” He adds, “Iberma today is the absolute market reference in Morocco in urology, gastroenterology, and psychiatry. We pride ourselves on delivering high-quality products that answer the specific needs of Moroccan patients.”
Iberma today is the absolute market reference in Morocco in urology, gastroenterology, and psychiatry
“Our strategy consists of continuing to focus on growing our market share and becoming a leading contract manufacturer for pharma MNCs,” posits Lahlou, adding that Iberma “also took significant steps to enhance our production capacity in new manufacturing areas, adopting an ambitious investment plan for the upcoming decade to capture and secure new markets, namely in Europe and Africa.”
These international exploits include a successful joint venture with the Spanish subsidiary of Italfarmaco, an Italian pharma group, which gave birth to Versalya, a pharma lab exclusively devoted to women’s and children’s health. Lahlou is optimistic about the potential for similarly successful future ventures. “We are considering new joint venture ideas in therapeutic areas where we see the potential to make a valuable contribution, grow our portfolio, and become market disrupters,” he adds.
With the potential for increased consolidation in the coming years among Morocco’s 26 domestic pharmaceutical companies, Lahlou is confident that Iberma is ready for whatever the market throws at it. “Local mergers could change market dynamics and reinforce the position of some companies, especially those who will gain more extensive distribution facilities,” he states.
“Iberma is ready to face these challenges as we believe we are on the right track to grow the business in the coming years, which will increase both our portfolio and market share. We already started expanding our specialty areas via new partnerships and joint ventures, and we are opening our doors to new connections that could help us diversify our offerings or bring additional skills and know-how.”
Lahlou adds, “I am also confident that Iberma’s robust structure and partnerships will help the firm go through market adjustments early on and adapt to all sorts of scenarios. Of course, not everything always goes according to what we plan – irrespective of how hard we work on forecasting, as now more than ever, unforeseen economic changes happen at a global scale and impose quick strategic shifts. But I believe Iberma and its international partners are well-positioned to leverage new product licenses to develop markets and grow. As the great Spanish author Cervantes once said, “the man who is prepared has his battle half fought.””