Close to 5.5 m will have diabetes in Saudi Arabia by 2030

Updated 10 October 2012
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Close to 5.5 m will have diabetes in Saudi Arabia by 2030

A leading pharmaceutical company warned that the prevalence of diabetes has climbed steeply in Saudi Arabia during the last few years, and over 19 percent of the adult population is suffering from this disease at the moment. “The Kingdom, where around 2.8 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes, has the seventh highest rate in the world in terms of diabetes incidence,” said Dr. Wail Al-Qassim, general manager at Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD yesterday.
He pointed out that the total number of people suffering from diabetes would come close to 5.5 million by 2030, if the incidence continues to increase at the current rate.
Al-Qassim said that an estimated 1.2 million Saudi citizens live with the disease but are yet to be diagnosed. He expressed his concerns over the growing prevalence of diabetes in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world. He said that more than SR 12 billion was spent every year on diabetes in Saudi Arabia. On a regional level, about SR 21 billion is spent on diabetes health care every year.
“We strongly believe in the need to raise awareness about diseases,” said A-Qassim, adding that MSD has a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Health, particularly in the area of diabetes. Its objective is to support health care providers’ efforts to treat chronic diseases and to stop or slow down the increased prevalence of diabetes by identifying current challenges. These initiatives are designed to increase patient’s awareness, empower patients to ensure self-management and improve disease management, he added.
Asked about the regulatory provisions of the GCC countries, when it comes to the importation, registration and approval of various drugs, he pointed out that the Gulf states, including the Kingdom, were working to modernize the regulatory and registration systems to harmonize them with international standards. “However, these reforms are still ongoing and we expect further enhancement of the processes leading to earlier access to newer therapies,” he said.
Al-Qassim said the registration and approval process of any new product could take up to two to three years from the submission of the file. This is a long period when Saudi Arabia is compared to other countries in the region, he noted. The Saudi Food & Drug Authority (SFDA) is looking at the possibility to clear a drug within six to nine months for sale in the Saudi market, he added.
The whole process to develop a new prescription medicine is very expensive and tiring, said Al-Qassim. “It costs about $ 800 million (SR 3,000 million) to research and develop a new medicine,” he said. But, only one out of a million potential new medicines screened by scientists at such high cost will ever make it to the pharmacist’s shelf, he noted.


Center for Government Communication launched for 88th Saudi National Day

Updated 21 September 2018
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Center for Government Communication launched for 88th Saudi National Day

  • The CGC aims to highlight the achievements of the nation in a year to achieve the desired impact and strengthen the national identity of individuals, enhance pride in National Day.
  • Minister of Media Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad: The progress made in consolidating the media discourse has been very visible.

RIYADH:  Minister of Media Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad announced on Thursday the inauguration of the unified media center for the 88th National Day at a ceremony held in Riyadh, attended by a large number of journalists, the leaders of the Ministry of Media and official spokespersons of the participating government bodies.
He affirmed that the progress made in consolidating the media discourse, as well as the growing integration and coordination among the governmental bodies, has been very visible.
Al-Awwad added that those who walk in the streets of the Kingdom understand this through the unified visual identity of the streets of Saudi cities and buildings on the occasion of National Day.
He said that “the success we are witnessing today could not have been achieved without the guidance, support and confidence of our wise leadership, God, and the cooperation, support, and commitment of government officials” adding that everyone is a partner in work and in achieving success.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Maghlouth, Ministry of Information spokesman and director-general of the Center for Government Communication (CGC), said that the number of publications that were circulated marking Saudi’s 88th National Day in the media and social networking sites reached 221,000.
He added that about 2,000 journalists participated in the National Day through the platform of the center. He pointed to the digital platform “Tawareel” as one of the initiatives of the CGC in the Ministry of Media to enhance achieve greater coordination between the center and government agencies.
Those figures showed that the center was on the right track and that coordination was increasing day by day. The national media plan for the National Day for the first time created a unified visual and verbal identity for Saudi National Day 88. It also coordinated the efforts of various governmental agencies and the private sector through the establishment of a unified media center that brings together the participants in this event to ensure commitment to identity and the unification of media messages.
The CGC aims to highlight the achievements of the nation in a year to achieve the desired impact and strengthen the national identity of individuals, enhance pride in National Day, and interact with its activities and programs and initiatives.
Al-Maghlooth said that the inauguration ceremony of the CGC for the 88th National Day was a long process which had begun to bear fruit at the beginning of this year when the Ministry of Information announced the establishment of the governmental and international communication centers as strategic initiatives to adopt the best media practices worldwide.
He pointed out that one objective was a united media message: Through strengthening coordination and information integration between government agencies. CGC will be providing support through training and development, preparing strategic plans and information campaigns, crisis management, and providing monitoring, analysis, data and information.
Al-Maghlooth explained what the Ministry of Media had achieved since the launch of the centers of government and international communication in early 2018; a qualitative leap as illustrated by the statistics.
He said that the Kingdom hosted more than 818 international journalists from more than 100 countries who participated in covering the Hajj and highlighting it in proportion to its important status and the Kingdom’s great efforts.
The achievements and figures confirm that the center and other government entities work together well and will continue to make progress with the guidance, support and care of the country’s leadership, and with the cooperation and continuous support of the government bodies, to achieve the goals and aspirations of Vision 2030, which reaches the sky.