Informa, the organisers of the leading regional pharmaceutical event CPhI Middle East & Africa, has announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 edition of the show, scheduled to take place in September in Abu Dhabi, has been cancelled. A new earlier date and location for the event has been disclosed, with the show debuting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 2021.
CPhI Middle East & Africa 2021 will be held at a time when the MENA pharmaceutical market is experiencing exponential growth. According to Fitch Solutions’ Q1 2020 MENA Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Report, MENA pharmaceutical sales are expected to increase by over 24% from US$35.5 billion in 2019 to US$44.1 billion by 2023 – primarily a result of the region’s chronic diseases, particularly cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
Sherma Ellis, Brand Manager, CPhI Middle East & Africa, said: “Maintaining the health and safety of all employees, partners, exhibitors and of course our visitors, as well as preparing and delivering an organised gathering that provides effective participation and a positive experience for all, was becoming extremely difficult under the current circumstances. For the past two years CPhI Middle East & Africa has been successful in Abu Dhabi and we would like to thank the UAE Government, the Ministry of Health & Prevention, and our partners for their contribution and support.”
A range of healthcare reforms have taken place in Saudi Arabia in recent years to support and incentivise pharma manufacturers. These include 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) into the sector, efforts to increase the total local pharmaceutical production by 20% by the end of 2020, the launch of e-visas to make the country more accessible, as well as opportunities for business expansion, due to the country’s reliance on imported pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, socioeconomic factors including increased medical insurance coverage, a growing population, higher living standards, and the incidence of non-communicable diseases are all driving additional demand for pharmaceuticals within the kingdom.
“Having consulted with all stakeholders, regarding the venue for the 2021 edition of CPhI Middle East & Africa, the show will take place at the RICEC, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on the 24-25 March 2021. As the second-largest pharma market in the region and the 18th largest economy in the world, there is a myriad of business opportunities for our partners and exhibitors to unlock in Saudi Arabia and we look forward to the opportunities this burgeoning market offers,” added Ellis.
CPhI Middle East & Africa is pharma’s regional exhibition for innovation, networking, and business. Together, with its co-located events ICSE, FDF, P-MEC, and InnoPack, it is the only pharma event in the region that covers pharma manufacturing and brings together nearly 4,000 key pharma suppliers and buyers, connecting local, regional and international professionals from across the entire pharma supply chain, from ingredients to finished product distribution.