Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, Chairman and Managing Director of VPS Healthcare, and Founder of LIFEPharma, said the UAE pharmaceutical industry has strong potential to expand globally in addition to manufacturing high quality medicines locally through the ‘Make it in the Emirates’ initiative.
He said: “The pharmaceutical industry is an innovative and value-based growth engine of the UAE economy, combining advanced technologies with the expertise of highly skilled professionals. The sector enables the UAE to compete successfully in the global market and draw on its strong current commercial and logistics infrastructure and future growth strategy.”
He said the LIFEPharma facility, with the help of the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention, has manufactured and successfully launched “Avilife”, a medicine used to treat patients with Covid-19. LIFEPharma also produces other medicines for the treatment of coronavirus such as Panalife, C-Vit and Henacyl (250 mg and 500 mg). These medicines are widely prescribed and among the MOHAP approved treatment guidelines to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19.
Dr. Shamsheer said: “LIFEPharma intends to develop innovative drugs exclusively. We are focused on entering a high-barrier product market, which was previously protected by intellectual property (IP) rights for the last 10 years, to bring affordable healthcare to the local community.”
He said that LIFEPharma is in advanced stages of discussions with the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies to secure the rights to produce five such products locally during the latter half of this year and next year. These products will be launched by LIFEPharma in 2022 and 2023.
He explained that LIFEPharma is in the process of obtaining the necessary licences from the UAE Ministry of Health to register these drugs, to produce first local alternatives to these drugs in the UAE and then distribute them in other countries.
LIFEPharma plans to enter six new global markets by next year, increasing the number of countries it already exports to from 12 to 18. LIFEPharma is the only USFDA-accredited company in the UAE, and has received approvals from Health Canada, TGA (Australia), and EU GMP. LIFEPharma exports medicines to UK and Taiwan as well. These countries have the highest quality standards in addition to following the standards set by USFDA in pharmaceutical quality.
LIFEPharma began commercial operations in Dubai in 2014, and currently its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility has a production capacity of 2.2 billion tablets, 600 million capsules and 30 million bottles of liquid medicine.
Dr. Shamsheer said LIFEPharma has pledged exports of 200 million doses a year to North America and Canada, in addition to 250,000 units of pain management and electrolyte doses which are exported to Australia. The company aims to achieve a net sales of AED 200 million, from the domestic market and through exports this fiscal year, of which 75% sales are in the local market.
Dr. Shamsheer said LIFEPharma aims to reach a sales volume of AED300 million and increase the volume of exports to 40% of the total production.
LIFEPharma is affiliated with VPS Healthcare Group, one of the largest integrated healthcare providers, with a network of hospitals and a chain of clinics that provides comprehensive patient care in accordance with international quality standards covering all segments of the society.
The VPS Healthcare Group currently has 25 hospitals in the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Europe.