2014-2020 Industrial Acceleration Plan: Implementation of pharmaceutical ecosystems

The pharmaceutical industry is structuring two of its sectors in ecosystems as part of the 2014-2020 Industrial Acceleration Plan. Mr Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Minister of Industry, Trade, Investment and the Digital Economy, Mr Mohammed Boussaid, Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr El Hossein El Ouardi, Minister of Health and the presidents of concerned professional associations have signed this Thursday 3 performance contracts to support the implementation of the launched ecosystems.

« Medicines » and « Medical devices » are the two sectors concerned by the two new ecosystems which cover all of the medicine and medical devices production value chain, from development to commercialisation. The following trades will hence be regulated:
 Clinical trials,
 Active ingredients and packaging,
 Manufacturing for local markets and export,
 Bio-similar medicines
 Medical devices
On this occasion, M. Elalamy stated that "the time has come for a jewel of the domestic industry to assert its in-depth know-how, developed over 50 years and exploit its production base to be part of a new paradigm for development ". “Today we are able to ensure production to international standards”, he added, “While providing competitive production cost and proximity to large consumer markets; those are strong assets that ecosystems will undoubtedly strengthen.”

Ultimately, the implementation of the launched ecosystems will help create between 4,700 and 5,000 new direct jobs with high added value, generate an added value and an additional trade surplus of respectively about 4.2 and 7.8 billion dirhams and to increase the direct turnover of the sector of about 11.1 billion dirhams.

Accompanying measures projected for the sector, as part of the concluded performance contracts are:
1. The implementation of a canvassing plan for FDI’s: International CRO’s, research centres and international universities, equipment manufacturers and electronic equipment.
2. The implementation of targeted regulatory measures: enforcement decrees of the law on clinical trials, sites certification, guarantee of patents’ protection, decrees relating to bio-similar medicine and medical devices…
3. The introduction of measures that will encourage local integration: export licenses for vegetal resources not valued locally;
4. Access to land through the provision of 8 hectares of land, at competitive prices.
5. Implementation of a training scheme covering 100% to the ecosystems’ needs: 4700 to 5000 profiles.
6. Introduction of the national preference clause in public calls for tenders.

The pharmaceutical industry ecosystems are called upon to strengthen their many assets and to address the limitations that are still preventing their full expansion, namely their strong dependence on imports, the limited size of the local market, the underutilisation of the medication production capacity (only 50% of capacity is currently used), and the fragmentation of the industrial fabric for medical devices, primarily focused on low added value consumables.
The « medicine » ecosystem, which includes 4 distinct activities (clinical trials, active ingredients and packaging, manufacturing for local markets and export, bio-similar medicines, medical devices), is setting goals capable of ensuring sustainable and constant growth in the sector, namely:
• Positioning Morocco as a strong destination for international clinical trials.
• Strengthening the Moroccan medicine in the local market and create opportunities for export.
• Positioning Morocco on niche production for active ingredients and packaging.
• Enabling Morocco to enter the bio-similar technology market.

Regarding the sector "Medical Devices", which presents vast opportunities and a major development potential (over 7% and 11% a year of potential growth for Moroccan and African markets respectively in 2020; large local market, ranging from textiles to electronics consumables; international offshoring trend…), the implementation of an ecosystem will essentially encourage the emergence of local consumables manufacturers for the domestic market and export, as well as a better positioning of Morocco as an offshoring platform for the production of devices and electronic equipment.
With the launching of the pharmaceutical industry ecosystems, Morocco is set to play a central role of expertise and reference in the region regarding the production of medicines and health supplies.