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The pharma industry in the UAE is moving towards an inspiring future. Ahmed Abo Al Fadl, General Manager Gulf at Healthcare Business of Merck on the evolutionary steps within the sector

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Published: Tue 28 Dec 2021, 11:02 AM

Standing at the crossroads of recovery from a pandemic and the necessity of digital excellence, the world today seeks more innovation, more digital inclusion, and, most importantly, more efforts towards well-being — no other industry fits this description better than the pharmaceutical one.

In the words of the great Hippocrates — “Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.” The importance of this sector and the need to grow and invest in it has exponentially increased over the past two years, with the subsequent road to recovery thereafter, being easier for nations that keenly invested their time and energy in the pharmaceutical sector.

However, cementing growth upon its trajectory of progress is innovation. At Merck, science is at the heart of everything we do. It drives the discoveries we make and the technologies we create. Everything we do is fuelled by a belief in science and technology as a force for good. A belief that has driven our work since 1668, and will continue to inspire us to find more joyful and sustainable ways to live. With every passing generation, our knowledge of and experience in medicine consistently advances to hone our techniques and advance our understanding of perhaps one of the most fundamental professions, with the current evolutionary step being the development of precision medicine. Precision medicine offers opportunities for the sector to use information, innovation and digital tools to prevent, diagnose, and cure diseases with near-surgical precision. It considers the genetics, environment, and lifestyle factors of a patient to identify which kind of medicine will work best in their individual unique cases.

However, this process was not easily derived nor is it seamlessly performed. A successful implementation of the precision medicine model depends on a number of factors, including R&D capabilities and digital prowess, both of which progressive countries have invested heavily in.

Regionally, for example, the pharma infrastructure has seen an upswing in growth and development over the recent past, bringing to the table the latest innovations in medicine, improving on its research capabilities, and hiring and promoting talent in the sector on an expanded level. These efforts have been mirrored in the UAE’s pharmaceutical sector that has developed exponentially over the decades, resulting in innovative recovery initiatives. After all, ensuring the health and well-being of people is every nation’s prerogative through utilising the power of the sector to contribute to creating a better life for residents and visitors alike.

Locally, the UAE hosts a number of free zones that actively strengthen the sector, including Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai Science Park, and Jebel Ali Free Zone, all of which represent ideal addresses for pharmaceutical companies, given their logistical services and benefits, which not only play a key role in the sector’s overarching progression, but has allowed us at Merck to ship our products from our UAE logistics warehouse, due to its streamlined shipping process.

Additionally, medical facilities there stand to benefit from groundbreaking tools as a result of the digital drive that utilises technology for measurement and intervention in the service of human health. This empowers patients and healthcare providers with intelligent tools to address a wide range of conditions through effective measurements and data-driven interventions.

The path forward can only be paved with the building blocks of what we learned and experienced. They say ‘study the past if you want to define the future,’ and the pharmaceutical industry has been on an inspiring rise, from empirical healthcare to a more robust and digitalised sector, that not only builds upon what medical professionals have conceived and learned, but also paves the path forward for a future of health that ensures patients nothing but the best at all times.

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