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Research and Markets: Bahrain's Pharmaceutical Market Is Well Developed, But The Small Size Serves To Limit Its Attractiveness To Foreign Drug-makers.

DUBLIN, Ireland -- Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of "Bahrain Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report Q1 2008" to their offering.

The Bahrain Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Report provides independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on Bahrains pharmaceuticals and healthcare industry.

Bahrain's pharmaceutical market is well developed, but the small size serves to limit its attractiveness to foreign drugmakers. The market was worth an estimated US$58.3mn in 2007 and it should experience GDP-beating growth, driven by a growing non-communicable disease burden and continued reliance on imported patented drugs, to reach US$83.8mn by 2012.

The small market size is generally cited as Bahrain's biggest drawback by pharmaceutical manufacturers. A population of just 800,000 means this problem is unavoidable. However, it is being mitigated by growing integration between members of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC). Goods and labour can increasingly flow freely between member states reducing the problems of a small domestic market for drugmakers. Having said this, the author maintains its view that pharmaceutical traffic will continue to be predominantly one way - into Bahrain. Domestic manufacturing remains underdeveloped due to limited investment and the population's preference for high-tech treatments, which traditionally require too great an investment for the limited returns promised by the country's small drug market.

The flow of healthcare services should be more balanced. While the government is committed to sending patients abroad for treatment if they can receive better care than at home, heavy investment in the country's health infrastructure continues. In November 2007, it emerged that Bahrains Ithmaar Bank is to build a US$1.6bn 'health island', which could develop along the same lines as the UAE's Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC). The island will not be operational until at least 2011, but should attract attention from local and domestic patients when it is completed.

For Q108, the author has overhauled its Business Environment Ratings. Under the new system Bahrain is ranked equal fourth out of 14 Middle East and Africa (MEA) markets surveyed. The strong showing is due to one of the most reliable regulatory environments in the region and a stable country risk outlook.

The country's obesity and diabetes epidemics look set to intensify as the population continues its path towards sedentary lifestyles and Western diets. Consequently, the highest growth should be seen in the cardiovascular and metabolic drug segments. These will maintain the dominance of prescription drugs and in particular patented varieties over the forecast period.

Companies Mentioned:

- Al-Jishi Corporation

- Bahrain Industrial Pharmaceutical Co (Bidapharm)

- Behzad Medical Establishment

- GlaxoSmithKline

- Johnson & Johnson

- Merck & Co

- Novartis

- Pfizer

- Sanofi-Aventis

- Yousuf Mahmood Husain Company

For more information, visit
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 31, 2008
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