UAE leads countries with developed ecosystem for Halal pharmaceuticals

DUBAI, 5th March, 2017 (WAM) -- The UAE has been found to have the best developed ecosystem for producing Halal pharmaceuticals in terms of supply drivers, governance, awareness and pricing index, according to the most recent State of Global Islamic Economy report. Malaysia and Singapore round out the top three on the index.

Muslims have been spending at least AED286 billion a year on Halal pharmaceuticals, according to the report. The multibillion-dollar industry is expected to expand even further as the UAE-based International Halal Accreditation Forum, IHAF, initiates global standardisation efforts.

The report has mapped consumer spending and found that the top five Muslim pharmaceutical markets are Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United States, Indonesia, and Algeria, with a value totalling AED112.7 billion.

Mohammed Saleh Badri, Secretary-General of IHAF said, "As consumer awareness gets stronger, the market demand for Halal pharmaceutical products continues to grow through the years. But for the longest time, no single entity with a comprehensive international presence had addressed the Sharia compliance needs of this segment. IHAF is committed in addressing these concerns with the support of various accreditation agencies across the globe."

"Halal pharmaceuticals would particularly benefit from IHAF’s efforts that aim to assist in developing those unified global standards to fill a huge gap in the market," Badri said. "Market growth opportunities are particularly noticeable in the manufacturing sector. However, a lack of a strong and internationally recognised standardisation scheme has become a barrier in the mass production of goods."

He went on to say that mass manufacturing would be made possible by standardisation, which would aid economies of scale and barrier-free global trade.

"Standardisation means that manufacturers have a clear picture of what the product is and how they should produce it, guaranteeing that the product would be accepted everywhere. Otherwise, manufacturing specific products for specific groups of consumers is expensive. Unified standards would remove any uncertainties for global trade," Badri added.

Alongside creating these standards, IHAF is to promote awareness of the scientific foundation and the health benefits of Halal products. In pharmaceuticals, the IHAF standardisation exercise will initially focus on vaccines and medicines for coughs, fever, and headaches.