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With the Right Policies in Place, Health Care Innovation Can Push Saudi Arabia Toward its Vision 2030

It’s proven that innovation in health care yields substantial benefits for patients with life-threatening illnesses, as well as the economies they support. As Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 aims to diversify the Kingdom’s economy beyond petroleum and into knowledge-intensive, high-value technological innovation, government officials have chosen to embrace health care advancement and make it a center pillar of its Vision.

Meshal Al-Harasani and Dr. Mohammed Alshehri are among the generation of young Saudi innovators and entrepreneurs who are contributing to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. Both inventors are highly accomplished and have developed transformative medical device technology.

Al-Harasani has produced over 50 inventions and holds over 20 patents, most recently developing a serrated needle that can be used for surgery on cartilage. His work reduces the need for invasive surgery when addressing congenital defects of the ear and nose, a first-of-its-kind advancement. Al-Harasani said his invention “is a Saudi message to the world that we are beginning to achieve the Vision 2030.”

Dr. Alsheri is a specialist in restorative and implant dentistry at King Khalid University Hospital. Throughout his career, Alsheri observed several infections after root canal surgeries and developed the Endodontic Apical Plug as a solution. The tool, made of biocompatible material, is a filling for root canal cavities that is inserted into the opening to seal it and prevent bacteria from entering the gap. Alsheri’s work won a Gold Medal at the 8th International Invention Fair and has been awarded patents in several jurisdictions.

Saudi Arabia needs what Al-Harasani, Dr. Alsheri and other health care innovators at home and abroad have to offer – creative solutions that treat disease and help diversify the country’s economy. A strong and effective intellectual property environment is integral to protecting entrepreneurial work that holds promise for solving both health and economic challenges in the Kingdom.


Interview Spotlight: Samir Khalil, Executive Director of PhRMA Middle East and Africa

In a recent interview with Asharq Alawsat, Samir Khalil, Executive Director of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Middle East and Africa, discussed the ongoing need for strong intellectual property (IP) protections, increased investment in biopharmaceutical research and development and global collaboration to foster a robust innovation ecosystem in Saudi Arabia.

COVID-19 Clinical Development Advancements in MENA

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact patients globally, clinical researchers throughout the Middle East and North Africa are rapidly testing investigational medicines and vaccine candidates in clinical trials. These trials are vital to determining the impact a potential new treatment may have on patients, while providing necessary insights to drive promising COVID-19 therapies forward in a quick, safe and efficient manner.

Opportunities for Progress

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

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