Saudi Arabia partners with Swiss pharma giant Roche to develop healthcare sector

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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior and Switzerland-based pharmaceuticals company Roche Products signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday to develop the Kingdom’s healthcare and life sciences sector.

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“I am very confident that under the leadership of Roche Saudi Arabia’s general manager Abed Sabrah and the support of the Ministry of Investment we can significantly improve healthcare for many people in the region for years to come,” said the chairman of Roche’s board of director Christoph Franz, during an event that was streamed online.

The Kingdom’s ambitions to develop its healthcare system and push forward scientific developments in the field were highlighted during the virtual event.

Saudi Arabia aims to “elevate and invigorate scientific research discoveries” in healthcare, Khalid al-Falih, Minister of Investment, said.

“We have ambitions in the Kingdom to create a vibrant, globally leading healthcare sector in terms of the entire value chain: Research, manufacturing, clinical trials, product development, and data diagnosis,” he added.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Roche’s relationship with the Kingdom has strengthened as the pharmaceutical company consistently responded to Saudi Arabia’s requests for equipment to meet the demands of the virus, al-Falih said.

“We were grateful for the response and the more broad partnership that Roche and Saudi Arabia has,” he said.

Saudi Arabia has a healthcare budget of more than $40 billion, not including private spending, said al-Falih – and the sector is growing at a fast rate.

Part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 is to make the most of its geostrategic location and standing in the Islamic and Arab world in order to provide efficient healthcare solutions, the minister added.

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