Key drivers in the region include high population growth, solid government funding, a conscious shift to the private healthcare sector, and an increase in the number of low-cost generics being produced locally. These factors make Saudi Arabia a “perfect storm” for foreign companies looking to enter the market.
Outside of the KSA, according to Kuick Research, the Gulf region is expected to double its pharmaceutical drug market, reaching 20 billion USD by 2025.
In addition to these factors, and similar to neighbouring GCC countries, the percentage of the population that suffer from diabetes and heart disease continues to rise in the KSA. Pharmacies are seen by local consumers as a trusted source for all health-related goods as they actively seek advice and guidance from Pharmacists.
There is also a general consumer preference for more costly, brand name drugs, which tend to only be available by prescription or over the pharmacy counter.
Due to high footfalls and demand for non-pharmaceutical products, pharmacies across the KSA are actively looking to expand product ranges across the health and wellness spectrum.