Morocco: Becoming a Pharma Manufacturing Hub for Africa

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Multinational pharmaceutical companies are increasingly seeing Morocco as a top manufacturing destination for the African continent. Firms from Europe, Asia-Pacific and the US are investing millions of dollars in bolstering and expanding their drug production facilities in the North African nation thanks to its strategic location, price-competitiveness, and comparatively developed infrastructure.

 

Morocco’s strategic location in northern Africa facilitates access to markets around the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, with some companies seizing the opportunity to direct manufacturing operations that serve sub-Saharan Africa there. Others see Morocco as an ideal region to serve Egypt, Algeria and other emerging markets in the region. 

 

The kingdom boasts one of the most highly developed infrastructures on the African continent thanks to its leaders placing industry as a top priority, establishing the National Pact for Industrial Emergence in 2009 and investing in roads, airports and railways. Furthermore, the nation’s business environment is stable, and the presence of a highly skilled workforce gives Morocco a competitive advantage.

 

US-based Mylan Group subsidiary Mylan Pharmaceuticals Maroc inaugurated its first pharmaceutical production plant in Casablanca in May 2019, capable of producing 60 bottles per minute. Mylan already counts over 15 years in the Moroccan market with several generic molecules for oncology. 

 

After over 20 years in the kingdom, French pharma giant Servier inaugurated a new production unit in Nouaceur in 2017 which aimed to produce more than 15 million boxes of medicines by 2020. Two years later, the production site acquired equipment for serialization of its medicines, joining the combat against falsification of medicines. 

 

Interest in Moroccan manufacturing extends to South Asia, with Indian generic medicines leader Sun Pharma opening a new production facility in late 2019. Sun Pharma plans to utilise the Morocco hub as a gateway to the sub-Saharan region of Africa.

 

Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries and Medical Appliances Corporation (Spimaco) found an attractive manufacturing base in Morocco’s Berrechid industrial area and set up a plant to produce more than 50 molecules which would then be directed toward emerging markets in Africa. Through local production, Spimaco hopes to contribute to the local economy and aims to create at least 350 new jobs by 2022.

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