In Egypt pharma business is being militarized

Taking advantage of the coronavirus epidemic, is the military regime planning to take over the medical system in Egypt?

The Egyptian government has agreed to establish the Egyptian Company for Medical Investment, as an affiliate of the National General Authority for Military Production, to purchase all the nation’s needs of medicines and medical supplies and manage their distribution, in coordination with the defense and health ministries, which allows the army to penetrate into the pharmaceutical sector.

The government indicated that the purpose of establishing this company is to support the Authority’s activity, and to contribute to implementing some of its specialties, including the transportation and distribution of medical preparations managed by the Authority, adding that it will manage the strategic warehouse system established by the Authority.

Last August, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ratified Law No. 151 of 2019 for establishing the Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement, Supply and Medical Supply, the Department of Medical Technology and the Egyptian Medicines Authority.

The drug market in Egypt is large due to the population that exceeded 100 million people, where Ali Auf, the head of Federation of Chambers of Commerce’s drugs division has revealed, in press statements, that drug sales rose by about 18% during 2019 to reach LE 71 billion, compared to LE60 billion in 2018.

According to a report issued by IMS International Drug Information Corporation, the sales volume of the 10 largest companies amounted to LE 23.6 billion, with a total market share of 43.8%, of which 6 are local and 4 foreign companies, and one Arab company, i.e. the Jordanian Hikmah (wisdom) co.

In November 2016, Dr. Ahmed Emad El-Din, the Egyptian Minister of Health at the time, announced an agreement with the Ministry of Defense, to purchase all of Egypt’s needs of medical supplies and drugs, through the Department of Medical Services at the Ministry of Defense.