Saudi Arabia is the largest and most important market in the Gulf region. The pharmaceutical market (natural products, herbal medicines and drugs) is valued at nearly USD $2 billion and accounts for around 65% of pharmaceutical sales in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.
A rapidly expanding population is the main cause of the market growth in Saudi Arabia. The well-established vitamins and minerals supplements market accounts for around 4% of the total pharmaceutical market sales around US $80M.
There is little domestic production in the country. The majority of the market is supplied by imports which account for around 90% of the sales. However, Saudi Arabia imports a large amount of semi-finished medicaments which are then relabeled, repackaged and exported. There are currently around 6,000 pharmacies across the Saudi Market. Products such as multivitamins are commonly prescribed by doctors for general weakness, stress and loss of appetite.
In Saudi Arabia, natural health and herbal products are regulated by the government body named Saudi Food and Drug Authority. Classification of vitamins and food supplements depends upon the specific product composition. Products with contents below or equal to the recommended dietary allowance are classified as herbal medicines, and products falling outside of the allowance are classified as pharmaceutical.
Food Supplements and Herbals have the same registration requirements. The SFDA evaluates and studies medical claims in regards to their safety and effectiveness. Registration by SFDA is obligatory. The SFDA inspects the company and manufacturing site before the facility can be registered with the SFDA. Usually this process takes around 2-4 months after submitting the Manufacturing site registration requirements. After obtaining the manufacturing site registration certificate, product registration starts. This process can be completed within 3-4 months after submission.
NHP Consulting will submit regulatory documents required for market compliance for the Saudi Arabian market.