Thursday, January 31, 2013

Julphar recruits staff for $9.6m Ethiopia plant

Ras Al Khaimah-based pharmaceuticals firm Julphar is set to open its first overseas manufacturing plant in Ethiopia next week.

Once fully operational, the $9.6m, 40,000m2 plant in the capital of Ethiopia will produce 25m bottles of suspension and syrup, 500m tablets and 200m capsules annually, which will be exported throughout Africa.

In an interview with Manufacturing Executive Middle East, the company's senior director for sales and marketing, Dr Aly Mousa, said Julphar is currently in the process of recruiting 50 staff in roles including quality control, quality assurance, production, maintenance, administration and regulatory affairs.
"Ethiopia is an extremely interesting, dynamic and important market opportunity," said Dr Mousa. "As business and commerce across the African continent grows along with a rapidly increasing population, the demand for quality, affordable healthcare is greater than ever. Our objective is to provide greater access to medicines throughout Africa, and in therapeutic areas needed the most, such as anti-viral."

He said that the plant had been built by Julphar's own in-house engineering and construction division, which ensures that its facilities meet the required international standards for pharmaceutical manufacturing.

The Ethiopia plant is also due to be followed by future factories in Algeria and Saudi Arabia, with deals for both being signed last year.

"We are forecasting both plants will take approximately three years, however experience has also taught us to allow for unexpected delays," said Dr. Mousa.

"We need to consider contracts, administration, design, construction, quality assurance, compliance and after the facility is built comes the calibration and rigorous quality testing of products."

Julphar opened a new $136m diabetes facility in Ras Al Khaimah in September 2012.