Under the patronage of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli, Al-Ahram Establishment will on Saturday launch the second edition of its annual pharmaceutical conference. The conference, which will take place on 16-17 October, will discuss localising the drug industry in Egypt and providing practical solutions to its problems.
Abdel-Mohsen Salama, chairman of Al-Ahram’s board of directors, said the establishment is keen on organising its annual pharmaceutical conference, praising the efforts exerted in the pre-conference preparatory work, including the scale of extensive discussions in its sessions, and the effective participation in terms of numbers and quality of attendees.
The conference represents a pioneering experience in following up on the implementation of the recommendations of the first edition, which were carried out in cooperation with the various sectors of the Health Ministry and all partners organising the event, Salama added.
The conference will be held under the chairmanship of Mahmoud Al-Metini, the president of Ain Shams University, and the honorary presidency of Ashraf Hatem, the chairman of the parliamentary Health Committee.
The opening session of the conference is scheduled to be attended by Abdel-Sadek Al-Shorbagi, the chairman of the National Press Authority; Salama; and Alaa Thabet, the editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram.
Mohamed Awad Tageddin, the advisor to President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi for health and prevention affairs, will also participate in the event.
Al-Ahram, in its 145-year history, has been keen to support the state’s efforts in upgrading services provided to the Egyptian citizen, especially in healthcare and medicine, according to Salama.
“There have been excellent and significant accomplishments in the field of healthcare and medicine in Egypt as acknowledged by various international organisations,” Salama stressed.
Thabet said that Al-Ahram has made all the necessary preparations, including organising the preparatory sessions and meetings for the conference in cooperation with partners, to ensure that the event would serve as a permanent platform to shed light on all aspects of the Egyptian pharmaceutical sector in terms of safety and in compliance with the highest standards, as well as opening new markets.
“The event will also highlight the fact that Egypt provides the appropriate climate to attract more global partnerships, and Arab and foreign investments, to meet the needs of the Egyptian market and contribute to increasing exports,” Thabet added.
The Egyptian market with a population of more than 100 million is promising. There are 165 drug factories operating in Egypt in addition to 40 to 50 new factories under licensing. However, despite the figures, drug exports amount to $300 million, considered a small amount compared to other countries.
Al-Metini stressed that the success of the conference in its first edition “testifies to the serious discussions that characterised its sessions and the important recommendations the conference issued.
“The second edition will shed light on ways to meet the challenges and risks that the pharmaceutical industry faces and to discuss ways to improve it. It will also discuss ways to develop scientific research and ensure the success of the process of the transfer of technology and localising industry,” he said.
A large exhibition will be held on the sidelines of the event, Hossam Zayed, the general coordinator of the conference, said. The exhibition will be held in cooperation with major drug companies: the General Division of Medicines in the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, the cosmetics and nutritional supplements division in the General Federation of Chambers of Commerce, the Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry, the Egyptian Society for Research and Drug Manufacturing, and the Export Council for Medical Supplies.
Zayed noted that “several preparatory sessions were held in order for the conference to achieve the aspirations and expectations of citizens, doctors, pharmacists, and drug officials.”
He explained that the conference will include discussions on the strategic partnership with international companies and the role of the Egyptian Pharmaceutical City, the challenges and opportunities in light of the lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic, and the problems faced by research and development in the sector and the way out.
Participants in the conference will also shed light on universal health insurance and healthcare as well as the future of pharmaceutical exports and the digitisation of the health care sector to support Egypt as a regional centre for the pharmaceutical industry.
Speakers at the conference will include Tamer Essam, the president of the Egyptian Medicines Authority, Major General Bahaa Zeidan, the president of the Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement, Ashraf Ismail, the president of the General Authority for Accreditation and Health Control, and Hossam Sadek, the executive director of the Universal Health Insurance.
The event will also see the participation of Amr Mamdouh, the president of the Egyptian Medicine City, representatives of various concerned institutions in Egypt and local drug companies, chairmen of the boards of directors of foreign drug companies operating in Egypt, and representatives of the Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry and Commerce.
“The conference will conclude its proceedings by presenting a work plan to localise the pharmaceutical industry and find all the required solutions for many of the problems that hamper this effort,” he added.
The first edition of the pharmaceutical conference formed a committee to follow up on the implementation of its work programme, vision, and recommendations in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.
Moreover, the Standing Committee of participants in the conference has submitted the recommendations of the first edition to the concerned authorities who were tasked with following up on their implementation as part of a continuing dialogue and interaction between all parties involved.
The Standing Committee plans to work on implementing the recommendations of the second edition in a similar manner.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 14 October, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly