North Africa

Countries in North Africa have made significant improvements in developing their health systems and improving the health status of their populations. However, the region continues to face substantial and diverse challenges including a rise in the burden of non-communicable diseases and ongoing conflicts in several countries.

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Key Indicators

Investing in Health
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Countries in North Africa including Tunisia (6.9), Morocco (5.8) and Algeria (6.6) typically spend more of their GDP on health compared to the MENA region as a whole (5.5 percent).

Building the Health Care Workforce
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North Africa is becoming increasingly attractive to investors and those looking to conduct clinical trials. Despite this, North Africa does not currently have enough trained medical professionals and clinical researcher to support this growth as many countries including Algeria (1.2), Tunisia (1.2) and Morocco (.6) fall behind the MENA regional average (1.5) of doctors per 1,000 population.

Attracting Innovation & Investment
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Tunisia is leading North Africa in clinical trials at 253 total clinical trials from 2000-2017. Algeria and Morocco have attracted only a limited total number of clinical trials (83 and 93, respectively). Relative to their populations, they lag well behind other economies in the region.

These countries have an opportunity to attract more investment in early state clinical research with more robust intellectual property protection and enforcement.

Speeding Quality Treatments to Market
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A review of the market access landscape found that average registration timelines have been shorter (less than one year from local submission) across the region. However, in Tunisia and Algeria, timelines can extend up to five years.

Providing Access to Innovation
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Significant challenges continue with respect to providing access to innovation in the region. Most notably, Algeria has placed a ban on the import of a number of pharmaceutical products and medical devices in favor of local products.

Removing IP-related market access barriers will help attract greater outside investment and provide greater access to innovation.

Resources

Clinical Research Drives Health Forward

The Benefits of Clinical Research to the Middle East and North Africa

The Government Inaugurates the Comprehensive Health Insurance System- Arabic

The Egyptian Government inaugurated the National Health Insurance Project in Bur Saeed as a first Egyptian city witness the launch of health insurance services.

Opportunities for Progress

Explore policy-related opportunities for governments, health officials and companies operating in the MENA health sector.

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