INTERVIEWS

Julphar

Julphar
Jerome Carle
General Manager
" Jerome is the General Manager of Julphar. He is responsible for all aspects of Julphar's operations. He joined the Company in January 2017 as Corporate CFO, before being appointed Acting General Manager. He has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry and during his 20-yearplus career, he has served in a variety of senior management positions. He began his career in financial operations with Peugeot and Ford and spent 17 years with Sanofi, where he had multiple global assignments including the role of Chief Finance Officer in Africa and Southeast Asia. He is also a Board Member of joint-ventures with Julphar’s partners in Africa, Asia and Middle-East. "

Given your expertise in the MENA region, how would you assess the present state of the market in your country and across the wider region?

Jerome: 2017 was a challenging year for the industry – particularly in the MENA region - due to currency devaluation, political instability, price cuts and import restrictions. Falling oil prices have presented both challenges and opportunities that we at Julphar have taken advantage of. We saw the drop in oil prices as an opportunity to provide high-quality products at a more affordable price. Our decision to act upon this has been reflected in our performance – in Q1.18 Julphar reached the number one position in the UAE with a seven percent share of the market.

Many pharmaceutical companies have been affected by reductions in the healthcare budget – especially in terms of tenders – and this is something we’ve had to adapt to.

Another recent trend has been more coverage for patients, though this is creating a burden and higher costs for the government. To ensure patients receive both excellent coverage and high-quality products, governments need to encourage and support generic usage. They need to find new ways to finance innovation and generics are a great alternative.

What opportunities does the market present for both companies in your own country, and those across the wider region and abroad?

Jerome: The industry is entering a period of significant change, which brings with it a host of opportunities and challenges. For us to maintain our growth and profitability, we need to introduce new products and for this R&D is crucial.

Innovation is becoming increasingly difficult with healthcare systems focusing on treatments that offer the most value for patients and society. We have a strong track record of innovation and we believe it is going to be more important than ever for our future success. Emerging markets are something we’re keen to focus on, and we’re looking to enhance our operations in Africa in particular. The region’s booming population, coupled with GDP growth has seen the demand for high-quality, cost-effective healthcare solutions surge. The increasing level of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes is another factor currently affecting the African market.

What are the obstacles in your country and in the region that market entrants should be aware of?

Jerome: If we look at market data from the Middle East, the percentage share of originator products compared with generics is higher than other markets, however this is starting to turn around in favour of generics.

Governments need to ensure patients will be able to access affordable healthcare solutions, which is a challenge as they want to implement or extend universal coverage and healthcare insurance. To ensure the population receives excellent coverage and treatment as well as quality products, governments must encourage and support generic usage. They need to find new ways to finance this and branded generics are considered a great alternative.

There are many stakeholders in our industry, from doctors to pharmacists and consumers. A company like Julphar, with a large portfolio focusing on general medicines, diabetes solutions and consumer healthcare, has to navigate the market complexity, adapt and propose a value proposition for all of our stakeholders to be successful in the region. We have to customise our strategy in every market to ensure we address our stakeholders accordingly.

Is there any one area where you would anticipate growth?

Jerome: The market is shifting in two categories: prescription medicine and the consumer segment. In these two markets, all stakeholders have different roles and experiences.

As the perception of generic medicine changes, so too does regional demand and this is reflected in the category’s market share. Consumers feel more at ease with and are putting increased trust in generic options as they realise they don’t have to compromise on quality and can save money in choosing them over innovator drugs.

As we’ve witnessed in many other markets, the push for more affordable healthcare products is driving a change that sees the government leaning towards generics usage.

How do you see the region developing in the coming years?

Jerome: The MEA region is one of the fastestgrowing pharmaceutical markets, not only globally but also for Julphar’s global operations. Demographic changes in the region - such as an increasing life expectancy – support market growth, however they also contribute towards certain pressures within the sector, particularly pricing and access. Cost is the biggest healthcare issue facing most countries, as patients are increasingly choosing more affordable options and are beginning to have more of a say in healthcare decisions.

With 15 manufacturing sites in the MEA region and a strong presence across the Middle East and Africa, Julphar is well-positioned to respond to market opportunities.

We are seeing governments encouraging the local manufacture of pharmaceutical products across the globe, which is why we’re forging strategic alliances and partnerships and expanding our local manufacturing presence. Local manufacturing of products has been a key part of Julphar’s strategy and off the back of this we launched a new state-of-the-art facility in Saudi Arabia towards the end of last year.

How do you think the launch of the CPhI MEA event will impact business in your own country and the wider region?

Jerome: The launch of the CPhI MEA event will impact our business in a number of ways, but especially so in terms of finding the right partners. We’re amongst the leading pharmaceutical companies in the MEA region and this is a great opportunity for us to develop new strategic alliances.

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